People first began using HAZMAT suits to protect themselves from disease, but now we wear them in all kinds of situations. Different types of HAZMAT suits protect from physical, chemical, and biological dangers. Discover when you should be wearing a HAZMAT suit at work and which kind to use.
History of HAZMAT Suits
The first HAZMAT suits were used in the 14th century to protect against the Black Plague. Doctors treating patients with the disease wore long, loose-fitting robes made of thick fabric. They also wore gloves, masks, and hoods to cover their faces.
HAZMAT suits have come a long way since then. Now, there are many different types of suits that protect against a variety of dangers. However, they all have one common goal: to keep the wearer safe from harm.
When to Wear a HAZMAT Suit
There are many situations in which you may need to wear a HAZMAT suit. If you work with hazardous materials, you should always have a suit on hand in case of an accident. You may also need to wear a suit if there is a chemical spill or another type of environmental contamination.
If you work in a hospital, you may need to wear a HAZMAT suit when dealing with patients with infectious diseases. This will protect you from exposure to the disease.
Different Types of HAZMAT Suits
There are three main types of HAZMAT suits: physical, chemical, and biological.
Physical HAZMAT suits protect against dangers such as radiation and extreme temperatures. Chemical suits guard against harmful chemicals and gases. Biological suits safeguard against bacteria and viruses.
Each type of suit has its own unique features. For example, physical suits may be made of lead to block radiation. Chemical suits may have an airtight seal to keep out dangerous fumes. Biological suits may be treated with antibiotics to kill bacteria.
Which Kind of Suit Should You Wear?
The recommendations in this post are meant to serve as a general guide for when to use protection at work. Check with your job’s regulations to get the specific parameters on what kind of suit to wear. There are four levels of HAZMAT suit protection, and they each do different things.
Use this guide to remind yourself and your coworkers of when it’s dangerous enough to merit HAZMAT protection.
You also need to make sure the suit fits properly. A loose-fitting suit will not protect you from hazards. And, a too-tight suit can be uncomfortable and dangerous to wear.
Wearing a HAZMAT suit is important for keeping yourself safe in hazardous situations. Make sure you choose the right type of suit for the job, and that it fits properly. With the right suit, you can stay safe and protected from harm.
Let’s talk about some of the situations where you need a HAZMAT suit:
Near Bodily Fluids
Any time you’re working around bodily fluids that may contain diseases or infections, you should protect yourself with a HAZMAT suit, probably either a level B or level C suit. These suits have different respiratory protection systems, but both use the same liquid-proof body suit. People who clean up crime scenes or work around bloodborne pathogens should be the most careful regarding bodily fluids.
Around Airborne Diseases
If you’re working in communities with people carrying an airborne disease, you’ll probably need a level A HAZMAT suit, which is the highest form of protection. Not only does it have its own self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), but the suit is airtight, preventing gases or particles in the air from hurting you.
On Construction Sites
Believe it or not, many construction workers should wear level D HAZMAT protection, but it’s not quite as intense as it sounds. Level D simply requires individuals to wear protective eyewear, coveralls, and boots. This is because most of the hazards at a construction site are from things like dust, sparks, and possible projectiles.
Inside Burning Buildings
Firefighters wear special clothing called turnout gear, which includes several elements of HAZMAT protection, especially when they enter burning buildings. Firefighters must use SCBAs, wear safety boots and gloves, and often wear face shields.
Turnout gear differs from other HAZMAT equipment because the priority is fire resistance rather than protection from things like hazardous chemicals, but these are still types of HAZMAT suits.
Near Nuclear Radiation
One instance where you should wear a HAZMAT suit at work is if you work at a nuclear power plant or help clean up radiation contamination. While no suit can protect a person from all harmful radiation, level A HAZMAT suits do a fairly good job of resisting many kinds. Level A suits will generally protect you from alpha and beta particles but not necessarily gamma radiation.
Around Hazardous Chemicals
If it’s called hazardous, you can bet you need to wear a HAZMAT suit around it. Hazardous chemicals show up in many industries, meaning workers at a variety of plants, warehouses, and laboratories may need to wear protection from time to time.
Hazardous chemicals are also a problem when the police discover illegal drug labs, especially if the lab was involved in making meth. Meth is a particularly dangerous drug to manufacture because so many of its ingredients are incredibly corrosive. They create a residue that special clean-up crews will have to scrub out of the floors, walls, and permanent fixtures. To do this, they need to wear full-body HAZMAT suits, gloves, and respirators.
In short, if you work with or around any hazardous materials, you need to be aware of the dangers and take precautions accordingly – up to and including wearing a HAZMAT suit.