Hazmat suits are special protective gear made to protect the wearer from serious injury from dangerous chemicals and particles. However, they can be punctured in certain circumstances if you are not careful. Here are six ways to prevent punctures to your hazmat suit:
1. Handle The Suit With Care
When donning a hazmat suit, make sure to be in an open space without reachable objects or machines nearby you could get caught on. Inspect the suit for any punctures, rips, or damage before putting it on. If there is any damage to the suit, discard it and find a new one. Once you have put on the hazmat suit, be sure to close all zippers and Velcro straps. Make sure your gloves are snug but not too tight, so you can still move your fingers.
Just remember that when putting on or taking off a hazmat suit, be careful not to snag it on any sharp objects. Once you have the suit on, avoid sharp or pointy objects as well.
2. Check The Suit For Damage
Before each donning, check for any damage to your suit. A puncture may have already occurred without you knowing it. Or, there could be material stuck to the suit that could puncture it if pressure is applied. So, make sure the hazmat suit is clean before wearing it again.
3. Avoid Sharp Objects While Wearing It
Avoid sharp objects while wearing a hazmat suit. This goes almost without saying, but sharp objects are nearly everywhere in some form. From the majority of tools on a construction site to simple home items like kitchen knives, there are plenty of opportunities for sharp objects to cause punctures in your hazmat suit. If you’re working with or around any sort of sharp object, be extra careful to avoid coming into contact with them.
If the puncture is small, you can often repair it with tape. However, if the damage is more severe, you may need to replace the entire suit.
4. Do Not Run While Wearing A Hazmat Suit
Running while wearing a hazmat suit is not a good idea, and is entirely unnecessary. You could trip and fall and puncture the suit on the ground or a nearby object. You could also damage the suit by running into something. If you need to move quickly while wearing a hazmat suit, walk briskly instead.
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5. Do Not Enter Certain Areas While Wearing A Hazmat Suit
Some areas will have more sharp objects than others. This means the wearer needs to be extra careful in these areas, or not enter them at all. Some types of facilities that a hazmat suit wearer needs to be careful of include:
- Medical laboratories
- Waste sites
- Lumber yards
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This includes any areas with:
- Exposed wires
- Unsealed metal surfaces
- Rough or jagged edges
- Glass shards
- Rubbish piles
- Stacked firewood, boards, planks, and wood chips
Puncture-resistant gloves should be worn to help avoid punctures. If the suit is punctured, damaged, or broken, it needs to be repaired or replaced immediately.
6. Be Careful While Carrying Certain Objects
Carrying certain objects while wearing a hazmat suit can result in punctures to the suit material. If the object is sharp, it can cause significant damage to the suit and potentially lead to chemical exposure.
Objects to avoid carrying or be careful of include:
- Anything with sharp edges like a box cutter.
- Anything that could puncture the suit like a nail or screw.
- Power tools, or hand tools
- Small machinery
- Medical needles
Remember, the hazmat suit is meant to protect you from dangerous substances, but it is not invincible. So be aware of your environment and take care not to puncture or damage your suit. It is also important to know how to properly don and doff a hazmat suit, as improperly doing so can lead to dangerous exposure to harsh chemicals.
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