When the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NISOH) announced the idea of establishing centers of excellence to address research and practice needs in the area of personal protective equipment and technology (PPE and PPT) earlier this year, ISEA applauded the effort to encourage innovative thinking to enhancing occupational health and safety.
In a letter to the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL), ISEA has outlined the needs for PPE and PPT research and provided an overview of potential projects and issues in multiple areas of safety.
ISEA also asked that at least two PPE manufacturers be part of any advisory group established to set priorities and review applications for research funding. According to ISEA, the manufacturers’ perspective can point to research that could lead to a successful transition to scalable manufacturing, and where there are immediately viable markets.
ISEA suggested NPPTL consider the following ideas:
- Research on the effects of UV radiation on ocular health
- Chemical protective apparel research
- Public-private partnerships to share advanced machinery and technology
- Research on the effects of climate change
- Research on hand protection in wet conditions
- Anti-vibration glove research
- Research on respiratory protection, including source control, CO2 build-up, and exhalation
- Studies around physical forces on the body from dropped objects
- Anthropometric research around eyewash spray patterns
- Active fall protection research
- Research to understand high-visibility garment lifespan
- Connected worker research
- Studies around PPE comfort and fit
· Research around hearing protection and conservation