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Facilities have the difficult job of determining what protective apparel is right for the worker, and it can be tricky, according to Mark Bushey, category manager for KleenGuard* Industrial Apparel at Kimberly-Clark Professional.

Facilities have the difficult job of determining what protective apparel is right for the worker, and it can be tricky, according to Mark Bushey, category manager for KleenGuard* Industrial Apparel at Kimberly-Clark Professional.

"People just ask for a 'white suit,' and they don't necessarily understand what hazards they need to be protecting against," said Bushey. "What I find is that workers are either over-protected or under-protected, so they need to ask and answer the right questions."

Is the PPE right for a metalworker handling fluids or for a construction worker on a dusty remediation jobsite? Hazards like dust, liquids or chemicals not only cause respiratory health issues, they can also seriously harm workers' skin.

PROTECTING THE SKIN

Workers falling sick and choking after a toxic chemical inhalation in the workplace is sure to make news headlines, but what is not often reported is occupational skin disease related to chemical exposure.

Did you know that 13 million workers are potentially exposed to chemicals that can be absorbed through their skin in the U.S.? That chemical exposure can cause irreversible damage to the skin and injuries including contact dermatitis and immune-medicated responses.

"Your skin is your body's largest organ, and it has a lot of surface area," Bushey explained. "Just like a chemical can do damage to your lungs, it can do damage to the skin as well, so understanding what options are available to protect workers is important."

Safety managers typically think about respiratory PPE when it comes to chemical exposure. However, skin-related exposures affect 1.75 times more employees than respiratory inhalation.   

Unlike inhalation exposure, there are no occupational exposure limits (OELs) for dermal exposure. Yet, employers are legally responsible for keeping their employees safe from workplace hazards.

KNOW THE PROCESS. KNOW THE PROTECTION.

American workers in food service, healthcare, agriculture, cleaning, painting, mechanics, metalworking, and construction industries and sectors are all at risk of developing occupational skin diseases.

Because the risk of skin disease can be caused by a different hazard in each industry, knowing the process is the best way to protect against the hazard—and choose the right PPE.  

"You need to know the process," according to Bushey, KleenGuard* category manager. "You have to ask the right questions like 'Are you going to be exposed to the hazard all day?', 'Is a liquid being sprayed at high velocity?', 'What is the concentration of the chemical that comes into play?'"

Bushey also recommends using the helpful KleenGuard* Apparel Selector Tool (shown below) as guidance on what questions to be asking.
 

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THE RIGHT PPE FOR COMMON HAZARDS

Aligning the hazard to the level of protection with human-centric designed PPE can increase productivity output and cut costs.

KleenGuard* Apparel has a Reflex* Coverall Design feature that moves with the body. It utilizes the Kimberly-Clark human-centric design expertise that is a core competency of Kimberly-Clark, whose essential brands touch nearly 1 of 4 people around the world every day.

"Kimberly-Clark spends so much time making our KleenGuard* Apparel human-centric to ultimately help drive productivity, which means real dollars to the customer at the end of the day," Bushey said.  "When apparel is purchased to protect against occupational skin diseases, but the garments aren't worn properly, it defeats the purpose and wastes money."

The KleenGuard* Apparel line has the right garments to protect against common workplace hazards that can lead to a risk of occupational skin diseases.

Hazard: Dust

PPE: KleenGuard* A20

Dusts are solid particles ranging in size from below 1 micron to around 100 microns, which may be or become airborne, depending on their origin. If a particle is soluble, it may dissolve wherever it deposits and its components then reach the blood stream and other organs and cause disease. Cumulative exposure can lead to allergic contact dermatitis that can develop without any warning and is incurable.

KleenGuard* A20 can help protect workers against the hazard of dry particulates. This breathable, lightweight garment has the exclusive, human-centric Reflex* Coverall Design that offers an excellent fit and freedom of movement so the suit won’t rip out. 

KleenGuard* A20 will also aid in meeting top KPIs:

Safety – No front seams means more protection in primary exposure areas where you need it the most.

Productivity – 7 1/2 times less likely to rip out vs. ANSI minimum sizing, which means fewer changeouts and more time on the job

Cost – Money Back Guarantee vs. Tyvek* 400 (20% savings when exclusively used for 60 days)

Sustainability – Recyclable with the RightCycle by Kimberly-Clark Professional* program to help meet sustainability goals  

Quality – TAA compliant, critical for government accounts

Hazard: Liquid

PPE: KleenGuard* A45

There are approximately 350 different solvents commonly used in the United States, leaving almost 10 million workers potentially exposed to organic solvents. Occupational skin diseases account for 15-20 percent of all reported occupational disease in the U.S., costing employers up to $1 billion annually.

KleenGuard* A45 can help protect workers from liquid form hazards including general grease, grime and organic solvents. It's also designed for the surface prep and paint areas. The A45 is a lightweight garment that also has the exclusive Reflex* Coverall Design for an excellent fit.

KleenGuard* A45 can help meet top KPIs:

Safety – No front seams means more protection in primary exposure areas where you need it the most. It's also tested to protect against isocyanates1 and chromates that are substances commonly used with painting and sanding. Specific A45 design features, like a respirator fit hood and water-resistant zipper, help ensure worker protection.

Productivity – 7 1/2 times less likely to rip out means fewer changeouts and suits used, and more time on the job

Cost – Money Back Guarantee vs. Tyvek* 400 (20% savings when exclusively used for 60 days)

Sustainability – Recyclable with the RightCycle by Kimberly-Clark Professional* program to help meet sustainability goals  

1 Tested against polyurethane containing polymeric isocyanate (40% concentration)

Hazard: Chemicals

PPE: KleenGuard* A70

Toxic chemical substances can penetrate the skin without workers even knowing. Resulting skin disorders can potentially lead to expensive medical costs and lost productivity.

KleenGuard* A70 helps protect workers who may come in contact with hazardous chemicals. It's made of a polyethylene-coated yellow fabric that resists many liquids, greases, oils and liquid chemical splashes. When chemicals are used in a particular process, it is important to understand the chemical MSDS, the concentration and the manner in which it is being used. The A70 is tested against more than 60 common industrial chemicals, putting workers' minds at ease on selecting the right protection levels.

KleenGuard* A70 can help meet top KPIs: 

Productivity – 7 1/2 times less likely to rip out means fewer changeouts and suits used, and more time on the job

Quality – TAA compliant product, critical for government accounts

Safety – Penetration testing against many common industrial chemicals; Bound seams for extra security in this primary exposure area; Taped sealable storm flap to protect against the zipper 

Selecting the appropriate level of apparel for the hazard is not a one-size-fits-all approach as shown. Knowing the process is crucial to avoid risk of occupational skin disease, but knowledge can also be gained from industry sources like OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) or KCProfessional.com. Just know that you are not stranded in making important decisions in isolation.

"At Kimberly-Clark, our job is to make our portfolio of apparel simple to understand," Bushey said.

"Our Kimberly-Clark Professional* and MSC Sales Professionals also bring a lot of value. They're trained to identify those hazards and recommend an adequate solution in terms of the PPE."

Browse Kimberly-Clark's line of KleenGuard* coveralls on MSCDirect.com.

Talk to Us!

What is the best coverall to use for covid-19 and do you have a lsit of distributors.  Do they also come with hood and foot protection in one outfit.

Thank you,

 

Dr. Marc Boivin

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Dr. Boivin:

Thank you for reaching out and for your question. 

Regarding where to buy protective clothing, you can go to www.MSCDirect.com for all your PPE and other products.  

 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health

Organization (WHO) provide direction on infection prevention

and control procedures related to SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and

other coronaviruses. Both provide guidance to healthcare

professionals for the use of personal protective equipment

(PPE) for contact with patients with known or suspected cases

of coronavirus infections. Both suggest the use of clean,

disposable, long-sleeved gowns.

DuPont Personal Protection provides a wide range of

protective garments and accessories that address a broad

range of PPE needs.

DuPont™ Tyvek®, DuPont™ Tychem®, DuPont™ ProShield® and

DuPont™ ProClean® garments are available in disposable coverall, apron, and gown designs, as well as boot covers. Additionally, Tychem® gloves offer hand protection that along with a hooded coverall and attached socks can provide full body coverage.

Tychem® 2000 and other Tychem® fabrics with taped seams

have been tested and have passed the requirements of ASTM

Standards F16702 and ASTM F16713, the recognized blood and

viral penetration test methods in North America, respectively.

ProShield® 80 also passes the requirements of both of these

ASTM test standards.

During high-contact patient activities, especially cleaning,

disinfecting, and decontaminating, where exposure to moderate

to large volumes of bodily fluids is anticipated, a ProShield® 80

or taped seam Tychem® 2000 garment may be appropriate to

reduce the risk of bodily fluid contact.

Refer to DuPont™ SafeSPEC™ for a full list of garments that

have been tested and have passed the requirements of ASTM

Standards F16702 and ASTM F16713. Although certain DuPont

protective garments have passed the recognized ASTM blood

and viral penetration test methods in North America, they have

not been tested against specific coronaviruses. Continue to

consult the CDC for guidance on suitable PPE for protection

from coronaviruses.

A great resource you can use is DuPont SafeSpec.  Based on your needs, SafeSpec will help you select the right protection for your application.  

safespec.dupont.com

 

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Kimberly-Clark Professional is on a mission to create safer, healthier and more productive workplaces. Our wiping solutions, PPE and washroom/breakroom solutions can provide you and your customers trusted brand name products to maximize safety and productivity.

 

Browse Products from Kimberly-Clark Professional

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