Research projects on PPE



Draw up modern news bulletins and techniques of information transfer for promoting of PPE during out-work activities
(Adam Pościk -

The aim of the on-going research projects is to evaluate the method of selection and use of Personal Protective Equipment which are used during work out activities. The second aim of the research is to create a news bulletins and technique of information transfer for promoting of PPE during out-work activities (e.g. training materials and web-services). We are taking into consideration PPE which are designated for adult and children for sports and housework activities.
Development of filter models and guidelines for checking test stands use for penetration assessment of RPD filtering devices.
(Krzysztof Makowski -

Research work is undertaken with the aim to develop suitable reference filters for assessment of repeatability of test results obtained with the use of test stands for determination of solid and liquid aerosols penetration through filtering elements and/or filtering materials used in respiratory protective devices. Testing procedure will be prepared as well.
Working out the requirements for innocuousness of protective gloves and footwear
(Agnieszka Andrzejewska -

The aim of research work is to establish the detailed requirements concerning the innocuousness of protective gloves and footwear. According to the directive 89/686/EEC the manufacturer is obliged to ensure the innocuousness of PPE. At the moment the appropriate European standards take into account only pH value, chromium (VI) and extractable protein content as the indicators of the innocuousness of these PPE. It is known that gloves and footwear material include the different chemicals, which can cause allergies. That is why the testing only three mentioned above parameters can not be sufficient to prove that PPE are harmless for the users. That is why it is needed to extend the scope of requirements given in the standards and define precisely the type of chemicals and their safety level content in gloves and footwear.
Development of methods for testing and evaluation of footwear slip resistance in conditions simulating its use
(Wiesława Kamińska -

The aim of this project is to prepare the testing station and work out the procedure for measuring friction between footwear and floor surfaces in accordance with EN 13287: 2004.In order to formulate the recommendations for selection of proper outsole materials and designs, the studies concerning factors influencing anti-slip properties of footwear will be carried out.

Methodology of testing and evaluation of antielectrostatic properties of homogenous and nonhomogenous materials for protective clothing for work in explosive atmosphere
(Agnieszka Kurczewska -

Comparative assessment of anti-electrostatic properties of materials on apparatus according to EN 1149-3 and the garment on the base of test results provided on the stand - the manikin simulating charging conditions in the real system: human body-garment-environment shall be carried out.
Objective measurements of speech transmission quality in communication channels of level-dependent earmuffs
(Dariusz Puto -

Level-dependent earmuffs are equipped with electronic circuits enabling receiving messages and other incoming sounds like, for example, warning signals. As the electronic circuit of the level-dependent earmuff may be described as the one-way communication channel with variable gain, depending on the incoming signal level, the reception of sounds via such a system is possible when noise level outside the hearing protector does not exceed certain value.
Because level-dependent earmuffs are primarily intended to provide protection of the user’s hearing also their electronic part should be safe and should be verified for safety of the user.
From the point of view of occupational safety and health one of more important parameters of the electronic communication channel of the level-dependent earmuff is speech transmission quality. The issue of speech transmission quality at level-dependent earmuffs is especially crucial in danger situations at the workplace when sufficiently high intelligibility of warning message addressed to the worker wearing the level-dependent earmuff in operation may save him from serious injury or even death. It is then necessary to develop a measurement method that could be used for assessment of speech transmission quality in level-dependent earmuffs and other hearing protectors with communication. The proposition of the objective method based on the STI principle was worked out with a framework of this project. The method was implemented on the test facility set up in the acoustic laboratory of Central Institute for Labour Protection – National Research Institute.
The results of measurements show the method may be practically used for evaluation of communication circuits in hearing protectors.

Method for the measurement of insertion loss of ear-plugs
(Ewa Kotarbińska -

The aim of the project is to work out the simplified laboratory method for measurement of insertion loss of ear-plugs. The insertion loss of ear-plugs is measured with use of acoustic test fixture (ATF) fitted with special adaptor .The test site and the test signals meet the requirements of EN 13819-2. The insertion loss is measured in on-third octave band frequencies. The mean value (for twenty samples) and standard deviation for several tested models of ear-plugs will be reported.
Effective exposure to noise of workers with hearing protectors
(Ewa Kotarbińska -

The aim of the project is to assess the exposure to noise of workers with hearing protectors. The measurements of daily noise exposure and maximum value of the “C” frequency weighted sound pressure level under the cup of ear-muffs will be tested.
Efficiency of double hearing protection (by earmuffs and earplugs) in protection against impulsive noise
(Jan Żera -

The aim of the project, conducted as the continuation of previous research projects, is to assess the effectiveness of double protection (by earmuffs and earplugs used at the same time) in protecting from the impulsive noise of peak level in a range from 150 to 170 dB.


  • Test method for proper assessing of properties of combined filters to reflect real condition of use
  • PPE against biological agents - needs for harmonized test methods
  • Classification, requirements, test methods for PPE against new hazard connected with nanoparticles
  • Filters for respiratory protection against radioactive media
  • Estimation of safe time of using of equipment protecting against falls from a height comprising textile elements
  • Protective helmets – test methods for measurement of electrostatic properties
  • New methods for assessing complete sunglasses, especially for drivers. There is a need to asses a new type of frames which are made by mew type of materials, eg. materials with “stereognosis” (-titanium). These methods must take into consideration effects connected with explosion of airbag
  • Definition of a test method and requirements for gloves and footwear protecting against oils
  • Definition of a test method and requirements for gloves protecting against UV radiation
  • Definition of requirements for footwear for metallurgists
  • Working out of the reference materials for the test methods for protective clothing and gloves
  • Working out the simplified method for the measurement of insertion loss of ear-plugs type protectors for quality inspection purposes
  • 13 Working out the method for assessment of the real service life of ear-muffs type protectors (according to the requirements of Directive 89/686/EEC, 2.4 PPE Subject to ageing)
  • Working out the method formeasurements  the real-world attenuation of hearing protectors for selection purposes


Signalization of chemicals permeation through protective gloves
(Katarzyna Szczecińska -

The aim of the project was to design a system of chemicals permeation signalization in order to determine a safe time of using protective gloves against aggressive chemicals in real use conditions. For signalization of the end-of-service-life for this type of gloves the colorimetric indicators can be used. In a case of signalization of acids and bases they are in a form of indicating pigments which change their colors in contact with permeating chemical. When the presence of solvents should be indicated, they have a form of microcapsules of a thin polymeric foil which, in particular conditions, release a pigment closed inside after dissolving the polymer layer in permeating chemical. The indicators can be incorporated into a textile layer and put under the barrier which is a protective glove. A color change of a textile is a signal of end -of- service- life for a glove which should be a reason of removing it from using.
Estimation of safe time of using re-used gloves protecting against chemicals
(Katarzyna Szczecińska -

The aim of the project was to recognize a phenomenon of changing protective properties of chemical-resistant gloves during their using in real life conditions. The research studies have been used for estimating the approximate time of using gloves, after which they are not a barrier for chemicals anymore.
The methodology and criteria related to assessing the level of decreasing gloves protective properties have been established during the project.  
The test methodology included tests in real life – at chosen workplaces in the industry and simultaneously in laboratory conditions, but with simulation of real using of gloves. During the other set of testing, higher temperature of 35°C, elongation of test specimen and multiple, terminated contact with chemicals were taken into account.

Definition of a standard for footwear protecting against chemicals and micro-organisms. The 5th framework program Research area: competitive and sustainable growth
(Agnieszka Andrzejewska -

The aim of the international project was to work out the standard for footwear protecting against chemicals and micro-organisms. The standard contains requirements and test methods for three types of footwear: high resistant footwear, footwear protecting against splashes and footwear protecting against micro-organisms. The project was conducted by six European research institutions: CTC, BIA, SATRA, CIMAC, INESCOP and CIOP-PIB.
The research studies included conducting tests of different protective properties of 6 types of footwear before and after contact with chosen chemicals or after sterilization.
Testing of hands cooling process in extreme conditions for improving of protective gloves construction.
(Agnieszka Andrzejewska -

Within the research work realized in CIOP-PIB the measurements of hands cooling process of workers exposed to cold were conducted. These tests were provided in cold stores and in the factory of ice-cream production using gloves of different protective parameters – different levels of thermoinsulation. The conducted tests focused on recording of thermal area of both hands surface – palm and back after different time of exposure to cold, using the thermography method. The models of gloves of modified construction and characterized by different protective parameters were developed.
The model structures of barrier against electromagnetic radiation. (Agnieszka Andrzejewska -

The aim of research work was to develop a new model of clothing protecting against high-frequency electromagnetic radiation. Designing the barrier material (a fabric) was the first stage of developing clothing. The seams, the zippers, the hood and the overall construction were also taken into account in designing process as the key features that influence the shielding effectiveness of clothing. The result of research work was the model of clothing protecting against microwave radiation in the range of frequency equals 800 MHz to 3 GHz.
Multifunctional gloves protecting against mechanical and thermal hazards and water
(Wiesława Kamińska -

Based on an assessment of the workplace hazards to which workers are exposed, two different types of gloves providing protection against multiple hazards and giving the users feeling of comfort were worked out. Fire-resistant gloves protecting against mechanical hazards (cutting and puncture), high temperature and water are designed mainly for firemen in the fire stations. The gloves protecting against mechanical hazards, low temperature and water may be used by workers employed in construction, transport, forestry, agriculture, freezing chambers, water and sewage plants etc.
The required functionality of protective gloves has been achieved by using multi-layer systems, modern raw materials and materials produced with various techniques. Owing to the use of microporous polymer membrane, the problems of water protection and perspiration are reduced. Both types of gloves meet requirements of proper European Standards.

Working out of protective gloves model non-causing skin reactions among health service workers
(Wiesława Kamińska -

Gloves used by health service workers play a significant role in the field of protecting both patient and gloves users. Vulcanised latex natural rubber represents the most common, excellent barrier material against bloodborne infections such as HIV and hepatitis type B and C, but its use entails some problems of which the development of immediate hypersensitivity to latex proteins is the most important. Two different types of gloves for health care workers were worked out in this work. First type - powder free latex gloves are made of vulcanised latex of natural rubber and characterize of low level of eluated proteins. These gloves are designed for medical service workers who have no allergy to latex proteins but should use unpowdered gloves with, as reduced as possible, latex protein content because of being in a risk group. Owing to appropriate chlorine processing, these gloves do not stick together and may be easily put on without the necessity of covering them by powder which is considered as carrier for allergens. Second type of worked out gloves is made of polyurethane and is designed mainly for workers with allergy to latex proteins. Resistance to microorganism penetration was confirmed for the both glove types by laboratory tests.
Working out and practical application of procedures for testing and evaluation of microclimate in protective footwear used in extreme conditions
(Wiesława Kamińska -

The methodology for testing of microclimate formation dynamics in footwear in conditions simulating its using during the working was developed. Based on this methodology, testing and evaluation of microclimate parameters in selected types of safety footwear for firefighters have been carried out. The results obtained for all-rubber and leather footwear, related to test subjects’ microclimate perception, allow formulate recommendations for manufacturers and users of safety footwear.

Changes of filtering materials efficiency over the time during loading with liquid aerosol.
(Piotr Pietrowski -

Improving properties of fibrous filtering materials used in respiratory protection are closely connected with electrically activated filter materials technology.
This method is mainly applied to melt-blown filtering materials where static electrification is achieved by corona discharge and as a result increasing effectiveness of capturing aerosol particles from air is obtained. Different ways of charging fibrous materials mainly improve filtration properties but with an observed lack of stability and durability of parameters achieved. Several research projects have been done regarding changes in time of effectiveness of liquid aerosol filtration by polypropylene and polycarbonate melt-blown materials with electrostatic charge. It has been found that during loading these electret materials with liquid aerosol (test aerosol according to European standard EN149:2002 - paraffin oil mist), significant loss of protection properties with time is observed.  The decrease of filtering effectiveness depends on concentration of aerosol in air.  Analysis of the obtained test results leads to the important proposal of changing the way of assessment of electret material filtration properties.  Possible change is connected with necessity of estimation not only initial filtration but its change over time so that a proper estimation of filtration effectiveness can be done in some usage situations.

A model solution of bioactive filtering materials for protection against bioaerosol.
(Katarzyna Majchrzycka -

Bio-aerosol hazard that is absorbs by respiratory system requires working out system of tests and assessment for personal protective equipment appropriate to peculiarity of this hazard. At present in UE countries respiratory protective devices that fulfil requirements of standards in the range of chemical factors are used for protection against bio-aerosols. However this manner of assessment does not exhaust all range of requirements connected with peculiarity of biological particles, which in opposite to solid or liquid particles have tendency to colonization, thus development in filtration materials. Proposal of filtration efficiency test methodology with reference to biological particles, and assessment manner of slowing down the development of micro-organisms that have been deposited in filters during usage time. Results of model filtration arrangements of bioactive properties with reference to gram “+” and gram “-“ bacteria as an element of verification of proposed test methodology are presented as well.
New test procedure and criteria assessment for RPD in complying requirements of safety and ergonomics aspect.
(Krzysztof Makowski -

Efficiency of energetic processes of human being organism is only 20 %.  That means that 80 % of energy turns into the heat and cause extra load to organism.  This fact is especially important in environment with increased humidity and temperature, where cooling of organism is very difficult. Carried out studies on ergonomic aspects of chosen respiratory protective devices proved that usage of RPD is always connected with the extra load of human being organism, especially when work is performed at the workplace where high temperature and humidity appear. Existing standard test procedures of practical performance test in accordance with European Standards, do not contain any objective ways of measure of RPD usage comfort. During the studies a new practical performance test method was worked out.  The standard method was widen and the measurements of energetic expenditure and temperature under a facepiece were added. Tests were performed in different ambient temperature and humidity to assess effect of extreme climatic conditions on comfort of usage of RPD and their efficiency as well. On the bases of obtained results hints and guidelines for users of RPD and for health and safety engineers have been also prepared.
Test method for retractable type fall arresters designed for horizontal use
(Krzysztof Baszczyński -

Retractable type fall arresters are designed for protection against falls from a height of people who need freedom of vertical movement. The practice of fall protection shows that the devices are also used for protection of people who work on flat roofs. This application creates quite different conditions of work for the devices and in some situations can be dangerous for their users. The main aim of the project was the theoretical analysis of phenomena occurring during the fall arrest by the retractable type fall arresters in horizontal arrangement. The analysis was verified by the laboratory tests.
The test stand construction and the test method for the estimation of retractable type fall arresters intended for horizontal use were prepared.

Locking of retractable type fall arresters – test method and stand
(Krzysztof Baszczyński -

Retractable type fall arresters are very effective personal equipment protecting against falls from a height. These devices are used under different atmospheric conditions and in the presence of various types of industrial pollution. For this reason appropriate locking after conditioning simulating extreme conditions of a worksite is one of the essential characteristics of retractable type fall arresters. The project presents the requirements concerned locking of the devices. A previously used locking test method and its disadvantages are discussed. The main aim of the project was improved test method and test equipment. Measurement of the test mass acceleration is the most important improvement introduced to the test method. The laboratory tests carried out in the course of the project, used to verify the method, turned out to be a valuable source of information concerning the performance of retractable type fall arresters.
Research on textile structures for smart clothing protecting against cold that change its therma isolation.
(Agnieszka Kurczewska -

“Smart” clothing protecting against cold has been worked out and constructed. Concept of the “smart” clothing that is clothing, which on its own supports thermoregulation processes of the body assumes the multilayer system of materials with electrically heated inserts. The inserts are controlled by the smart-control unit that reacts on temperature of the body, temperature of the environment and heart rate.
Research on textile construction with superabsorbents for use under tight garment for improving comfort of use.
(Grażyna Bartkowiak -

Working in tight protective clothing causes considerable discomfort due, among others, to the impossibility to eliminate high quantities of intensively secreted sweat out of the garment. The sweat accumulates on the skin and on the internal surface of tight clothing. Research work was undertaken with the aim to develop materials containing superabsorbents, characterized by high sorption capacity and dynamics, which could be applied in protective clothing structures and other PPE to absorb sweat.
Working out of guidelines concerning usage of PPE in MSE
(Adam Pościk -

In order to carry out this project it was necessary to analyze in detail PPE management in small and medium enterprises. The inquiry method was used to conduct the analysis. The inquiry was carried out in the cooperation with the National Labour Inspectorate. It was carried out on the representative group of 500 small and medium enterprises, where personal protective equipment is used. The enterprises were representative for different sections of economy. Two methods of collecting information were applied. Questionnaires were filled in by employers and in selected districts the answers were additionally verified by National Labour Inspectorate inspectors.
The inquiry research proved that in many SMEs (about 65%) legal requirements of selection and application of personal protective equipment were not fulfilled. Serious differences in fulfilling particular requirements of legal regulations depending on the employment rate in the enterprises, economy branch and enterprises location in the country, were determined. Research showed that the proper management of personal protective equipment i.e. determination of the rules of use and conditions of withdrawing the equipment from use is the major problem of the SMEs. The second problem is the appropriate selection of the personal protective equipment in special regard to health of the employees and ergonomics requirements related to the type of work. However, about 90% of investigated enterprises provide their employees with the information on personal protective equipment used by them and the justification of the necessity use. The percentage of enterprises where employees’ opinion on provided personal protective equipment is taken into account is similar. These activities can considerably help to reduce the probability of mistakes while selecting this equipment.
Conducted research enabled the National Labour Inspectorate to undertake an effective preventive action in order to improve the personal protective equipment management in SMEs. Results of the research were used to elaborate informational and training materials referring to the selection and the use of personal protective equipment addressed to SMEs of selected branches of business.

Computer program for selection of hearing protectors
(Dariusz Puto -

The proper selection of hearing protectors is one of the crucial parts of the hearing conservation programme which is applied in cases when the workers are exposed to noise exceeding daily limit values at the workplace. The aim of this project was to develop the computer program DOBOS3 for selection of hearing protectors fast and reliable. DOBOS3 offers three methods of selection of hearing protectors (octave band method, HML method and SNR method), defined in EN 458:1999 and PN–EN 24869–2. An important part of the software is the database of hearing protectors. The database contains all the data necessary for hearing protector selection process. The hearing protectors in the database have a valid certificate for the ‘B’ sign.
Developing test facilities for testing hearing protectors with electronic circuits
(Dariusz Puto -

Within this research project the facilities for testing acoustic properties of electronic hearing protectors according to PN-EN 352-5, PN-EN 352-6 and PN-EN 352-7 were worked out. Active noise reduction earmuffs, earmuffs with audio input by wire and level-dependent earplugs may be tested on these facilities. Testing procedures were worked out for these measurements. Additionally, testing procedure for measurements of acoustic parameters of level-dependent earmuffs according to PN-EN 352-4 was worked out. Testing procedures were prepared to introduce them into national system of conformity assessment.
Speech intelligibility in noise when hearing protectors are worn
(Ewa Kotarbińska -

In the work environment the safety of workers is often influenced by speech intelligibility which is usually impaired in noise when hearing protectors are used. The aim of the project was to work out the method of predicting speech intelligibility with hearing protectors on. The results of the prediction speech intelligibility based on SIL method were compared with the results of laboratory subjective tests. The percentage of words understood correctly with four different models of hearing protectors was tested on fifty three listeners in twenty various ”acoustic situations”. The differences between theoretically predicted values and the measured mean percentage of words understood correctly were lower than the measured standard deviations. This observation proves that the verification of the proposed method of predicting speech intelligibility in noise when hearing protectors are worn yielded a positive outcome.
The influence of aging on ear-muffs performance
(Ewa Kotarbińska -

Ear-muffs are commonly used as personal protectors against the effect of noise. The methods of calculation the A-weighted sound pressure level under the cups of ear-muffs are based on the results of laboratory measurements of noise attenuation, which are carried out in the certification process of the product on brand new samples. Hearing protectors are usually stored for certain periods of time. Next, workers use them in different atmospheric conditions as long as there are no signs of their physical damage. The question is. What is the influence of ambient outdoor conditions, usage and storage time of ear-muffs on their attenuation? To answer this question, a three-year study has been undertaken. Four types of ear-muffs, most popular in the Polish work environment, made in Europe, meeting the certification requirements and granted a certification mark, were used in this study. Sixty samples of ear-muffs were worn by workers at noisy workplaces, 40 samples were stored and another 40 were exposed to ambient outdoor conditions. The workers were asked to evaluate subjectively the noise attenuation of the ear-muffs. After one, two and three years time of usage and storage, the sound attenuation, headband force and the cushion pressure of tested samples were measured. The results of sound attenuation measurements were used to calculate the attenuation against high- (H), medium- (M) and low- (L) frequency noise and single number rating (SNR) of the tested ear-muffs. The results of the study showed that the attenuation of ear-muffs may decrease significantly as a function of time of usage and storage and exposure to ambient outdoor conditions when the visible damages of the sample are not observed. The changes in attenuation values H, M, L, and SNR may differ significantly between products. The time factor was the most important in model I. After the one-year of usage the attenuation values were lower than those given in the wearer information by 4 – 5 dB on average. After the three years of usage, the high-frequency attenuation H decreased by 9.1 dB. After the three years of exposure to ambient outdoor conditions the single number rating SNR was lower by 10.1 dB. The two-year storage caused a decrease in attenuation H, M, L and SNR by about 3 - 4 dB. The observed decrease of the ear-muffs attenuation corresponded to decrease of the cushion contact area but did not correspond to the subjective workers’ assessment.
Real-world attenuation of ear-muffs
(Ewa Kotarbińska -

The aim of the project was to investigate the effective protection of ear-muffs at noisy work-stands. The new parameter of hearing protector performance – real-world efficiency of ear-muffs was defined. The method of measurement of real-world efficiency with use of artificial torso was worked out. Ten various models of ear-muffs (four samples of each model), popular in working environment, were tested at the eight real noisy work-stands. The mean real-world efficiency measured at each noisy work-stand were compared with mean sound attenuation measured according to EN 24869-1 The significant influence of acoustic conditions of the work–stands on the results of the ear-muffs’ real-world efficiency was observed. The A-weighted sound pressure levels under the two cups of all forty tested samples for eight various noises were measured and compared with levels calculated according to PN-EN ISO 4869-2. For 89% of tested “acoustic situations” the measured levels were higher than calculated on the based of mean sound attenuation of ear-muffs. The maximum difference of 9.5 dB between measured mean levels, for eight cups of the same model, and predicted values was observed.
Hearing protection against impulsive noise by earplugs
(Jan Żera -

The aim of the project was to asses a number of earplugs including foam, and winged earplugs as to their effectiveness in protecting against the impulsive noise of peak level in a range from 150 to 170 dB.
Hearing protection against impulsive noise by earmuffs: identification of selected construction parameters influencing the action of earmuffs in impulsive noise
(Jan Żera -

Hearing protection against impulsive noise by earmuffs: identification of selected construction parameters influencing the action of earmuffs in impulsive noise The aim of the project was to assess a number of earmuffs (over 30 models from major manufactures) as to their effectiveness in protecting against the impulsive noise of peak level in a range from 150 to 170 dB.  The relation of major construction parameters (cup volume, mass, wall thickness) to the observed attenuation of impulses was identified.