Standard Practices for Evaluating the Comfort, Fit, Function, and Durability of Protective Ensembles, Ensemble Elements, and Other Components
5.1 These practices establish standard procedures designed for qualitatively evaluating the performance characteristics of protective ensembles or ensemble elements in terms of comfort, fit, function, and durability. Limited quantitative measures are also provided.
5.2 These practices are suitable for both end users and manufacturers to evaluate performance characteristics of protective ensembles and ensemble elements.
5.2.1 End users may use these practices to qualitatively determine how well protective ensembles and ensemble elements (gloves, boots, and respirators) and ensemble components (communications systems, cooling devices, and undergarments) meet their particular application.
5.2.2 Manufacturers of protective ensembles and ensemble elements may use these practices to determine the qualitative performance characteristics in existing or proposed designs.
5.3 Option A permits a qualitative evaluation of protective ensemble or ensemble element mobility by subjecting the protective ensemble to a manned exercise routine. Option B permits a qualitative evaluation of protective ensemble or ensemble element function. Each procedure can be used to assess ensemble comfort and fit by relating test subject responses and by comparing the dimensions and weights of both the test subject and suit.
Note 1: The accumulation of suit and human subject dimension data may eventually be used by manufacturers or end users in standards to improve the sizing of chemical-protective suits and the integration of ensemble components in protective ensembles.
5.4 The use of these practices is primarily for qualitative purposes only. In general, results from use of these practices on one type of ensemble may not be comparable to other test results on a different ensemble due to the subjective nature of test results.
5.5 Certain aspects of these practices are quantitative. The effect of wearing the ensemble or ensemble element can also be assessed by the measurement of the time to complete the exercise and tasks defined in Option A and Option B, respectively. Further, liquid penetration resistance testing is applied to liquid splash-protective ensembles in accordance with Test Method F1359/F1359M, and pressure testing is applied to vapor-protective ensembles in accordance with Test Method F1052 to determine if the exercises or tasks affect the durability of the protective ensemble or ensemble element to provide acceptable levels of integrity. Depending on the ensemble configuration, specific evaluations and assessments are used to determine the effect of the ensemble or ensemble element on the wearer’s visual acuity, their field of vision, and their ability to remove and reinsert their hands into gloves when attached to encapsulating protective ensembles.
5.6 Quantitative practices for determining the specific impact of the protective ensemble on the wearer’s range of motion are found in Practice F3031.
5.7 These practices are not intended to assess heat stress resulting from wearing a protective ensemble, although thermal comfort of the suit ensemble may be subjectively evaluated. Use Practice F2668 for measuring the physiological impact of wearing ensembles or ensemble elements on wearers.
5.8 It is recommended that end users and manufacturers of protective ensembles and ensemble elements consider these practices to be minimum procedures for evaluating ensemble and ensemble element performance characteristics. Additional tests and procedures that relate directly to their particular application are also recommended where appropriate. Each facility performing these practices is encouraged to establish its own criteria for assessing acceptable ensemble performance.
1.1 These practices are intended for evaluating protective ensembles and ensemble elements to determine the suitability of the ensemble or ensemble components in a work environment on the basis of its comfort, fit, function, and durability.
1.1.1 Option A
is a manned exercise scenario intended to evaluate the impact of the ensembles and ensemble elements on wearer mobility when worn in a series of different physical exercises that are intended to evaluate the range of motion permitted by the ensemble or ensemble element.
1.1.2 Option B
is a manned work task scenario intended to determine impact of the ensemble or ensemble element on wearer function.
1.1.3 Recording the length of time used to complete these tasks provides a means for quantifying the impact of the ensemble or ensemble element on the wearer function.
1.1.4 Relating the ability of the subject to completely perform all tasks provides a qualitative assessment for the impact of the ensemble or ensemble element on wearer function.
1.1.5 The optional evaluation of ensembles or ensemble elements for liquid or vapor integrity following the exercise protocols provides a basis for evaluating the impact of wearing on ensemble or ensemble element integrity.
1.2 These practices apply to protective ensembles and certain ensemble elements that are used for protection against different chemical, biological, physical, thermal, and other hazards, but are primarily useful for ensembles that include barrier layers such as liquid splash-protective ensembles used for protection against hazardous chemicals or highly infectious diseases, or vapor-protective ensembles used for chemical protection.
1.3 The values as stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as the standard. The values in parentheses are given for information only.
1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Specific safety precautions are given in Section 7.
1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.
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