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Research Projects on Protecting Firefighters and Oil and Gas Workers (AIHce EXP 2020 OnDemand)

Course Description:
Recorded at Virtual AIHce EXP 2020


Update on HSE Issues in Shale Gas Storage Tank Gauging

A no gauging strategy in U.S. shale fields on storage tanks is creating environmental, health, and safety risks. Presenter: Paul Haas, CSP, CIH, Evergreen Health and Safety, LLC WEST PALM BEACH, FL, United States of America

An Investigation of Diesel Exhaust Emissions Within Fire Stations

In 2018, Golder Associates, Ltd. was requested to investigate diesel engine exhaust (DEE) at 11 fire and emergency services stations within a specific municipality. The scope of work involved conducting air sampling for DEE, including diesel particulate matter (DPM) and two known surrogate measures of diesel exhaust (i.e., carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide). DEE is commonly overlooked within fire station environments because the tendency is to investigate occupational exposures to fire and emergency services personnel in the field. Compounding this issue is the current classification of DEE as carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the current lack of agreement on an acceptable occupational exposure limit for DPM. Given these limitations, a study was designed to quantify DPM concentrations in fire stations, in conjunction with a technical review to assess current DPM exposure limits in station environments. Presenter: Courtney Gendron, Golder Associated Limited Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Survival of MRSA on the Outer Shell of Firefighters' Turnout Gear After Sanitation in a Commercial Washer/Extractor

Background Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) contamination on surfaces, including turnout gear, have been found throughout a number of fire stations. The outer shell barrier of turnout gear jackets is an indirect transmission source, and proper disinfection is essential to reduce the risk of exposure to fire fighters. Cleaning practices vary considerably among fire stations, and a method to assess disinfection of gear washed in commercial washer/extractors is needed. A study of 33 fire stations revealed that 58% were positive for MRSA for environmental surface sampling. In another study, MRSA was also detected on surfaces throughout the training and communal areas of nine Arizona fire facilities, suggesting fomite transmission of this pathogen. These studies suggest that soiled and/or improperly cleaned turnout gear may indirectly transmit S. aureus and place fire fighters at an elevated risk for MRSA infection. Presenter: Dr. Daniel Farcas, CIH, CSP, CHMM, Windjammer Environmental LLC Oxon Hill, MD, United States of America

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