What is Mechanical Protection?
Mechanical protection includes garments that provide cut, puncture and abrasion protection. A cut protective garment may not include protection from puncture and abrasion. The main safety standard that measures protection for these multiple hazards is ANSI/ISEA 105. Originally developed for gloves only, this standard is commonly used for cut resistant protection. Changing the name of our garments from Cut Protection to Mechanical provides you with the confidence that garments from National Safety Apparel provide protection against cut, puncture and abrasion.
provides protection from cuts or lacerations. Raw edged glass and metals, shard and razor sharp objects are the perpetrators, and are seen in the facilities of float glass manufacturers, glass fabricators and sheet metal manufacturing and fabrication. ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 rates the cut protection of a garment between A1 and A9, A1 being the lowest to A9, the highest. ASTM F 2992 is the test used to identify the rating. A load-bearing razor blade travels along a fabric while the cut rating is precisely measured.
provides protection from dangerous objects that pierce, stab or penetrate through a fabric, causing bodily harm. Not all cut protection provides puncture resistance. Hazards in puncture include many of the hazards of cut, but may include metals or products of high speed manufacturing and moving parts. Puncture protection is also rated by ANSI/ISEA 105, with a puncture rating of 0 through 5 given – 0 being the lowest. A different test method ASTM F2878, EN388 (clause 6.4) is used to test puncture. A sharpened stylus is mounted to a load bearing tensile strength tester and forced through a fabric sample. The force to puncture the fabric is recorded and given a puncture rating of 0 through 5.
We often look at abrasion as a rating of how abrasion-resistant a fabric may be, which would be a contributor to the durability and wear life of a garment. This is true, and a great benefit to describe. It is also important to note and understand that many workers face abrasion hazards in their jobs, and can benefit from abrasion resistance. Like burns, abrasions are rated:
First degree abrasion
Superficial damage to the skin and can cause damage to the epidermis or mucus membrane. There is no bleeding. Remember those strawberries we got on our knees as children? These were first degree abrasions.
Second degree abrasion
Occurs at the epidermis and dermis skin layers and may cause bleeding.
Third degree abrasion
Known as an avulsion, this type of abrasion causes major damage to all three layers of skin – the subcutaneous, epidermis and dermis. Rough surfaces, spinning and grinding tools, rotary machines and raw metal and glass can cause abrasion injuries. Also included in the ANSI/ISEA 105, abrasion is tested by test methods found in ASTM D3389-10 and ASTM D3884-09 which use a rotating surface to determine abrasion resistance of a fabric. Small circular swatches of material are put through anywhere from 500 – 20,000 revolutions on an abrasion testing machine. An abrasion rating of 0-6 is then assigned to the tested fabric.
Don’t let your team be a cut, laceration or puncture statistic.
In a 2016 News Release, the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that “The rate of injuries and illnesses resulting from cuts, lacerations, or punctures was 9.6 cases per 10,000 full-time workers in 2015, up from 8.8 cases in 2014.”
These nonfatal occupational injuries accounted for 9% of occupational injuries in 2015. Mechanical PPE that provides cut, puncture and abrasion protection can reduce the rate of injury in your workforce.
All of this said – there are environments that traditionally yielded a need for cut protection only. As safety evolves, the need for more than just cut protection has become apparent. Garments that boast cut protection may not include protection from puncture and abrasion.
National Safety Apparel leads the way by launching mechanical protection to replace only cut protection. Cut, puncture and abrasion protection increases the safety for your work force. Shop our full line of Mechanical Protection today. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, in cooperation with participating state agencies. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/osh2.pdf