Australian Glove Standards.

There are a number of Australian work glove standards.  Here is a list of the most common.Mechanical hazards gloves

AS/NZS 2161.3:1998 (EN388) – Protection against Mechanical Hazards
The EN388 standard applies to all types of protective gloves with respect to mechanical aggression from abrasion, cutting, tearing and puncture. These ratings are calculated from laboratory test results and do not replace the actual testing of the product in real conditions in the field. The results also enable you to compare the performance between various products.

AS/NZS 2161.5:1998 (EN 511:1994) Protection against Cold
The EN511 standard defines the requirements and test methods for gloves which protect against convective or conductive cold down to -50°.  This cold can be linked to climatic conditions or industrial activity.

AS/NZS 2161.4:1999 EN407:1994) Protection against thermal risks (heat and fire)
This standard specifies test methods, general requirements, levels of thermal performance and the marking for protective gloves against heat and/or fire. It is to be used for all gloves which protect the hands against heat and/or flames in one or more of the following forms: fire, contact heat, convective heat, radiant heat, small splashes or large quantities of molten metal.

AS/NZS2161.10.3:2005 (EN374-3) – Protective gloves against chemicals and micro-organisms – Determination of resistance to permeation by chemicals
The EN374-3 standard involves determination of the resistance of the materials making up the gloves. Resistance to permeation is assessed by measuring the time for a chemical to breakthrough glove material. Samples are cut and placed in a permeation cell which enables the chemical to be placed in contact with the outer surface of the glove. Air or water is passed through the cell to collect any chemical that has broken through the inside surface of the glove. It is recommended to only use the test results, which have basically relative values, to compare the materials on the basis of the major categories of passage of time.

AS/NZS 2161.10.2:2005 – Protective gloves against chemicals and micro-organisms – Determination of resistance to penetration
Adopts EN 374-2:2003 to specify the method for the determination of the resistance of protective gloves to penetration. The primary test is an air leak test, and gloves meeting this Standard are considered to be suitable for use against biologically hazardous material

AS 2161.6-2003 Protective gloves for firefighters

AS/NZS 2161.8:2002 – Protection against ionizing radiation and radioactive contamination

Ansell – A Guide to EN Standards for Gloves
Elliott’s Quality Safety Gear – Glove Standards
Active Lifting Equipment Co Pty Ltd – Australian/New Zealand Occupational Protective Glove Standards

“What’s wrong with the door?”, asked our Facilities Lady.

door not operationalIt’s got a sign on it saying “Door Not In Use.”

The slightly longer story is that people were using this entrance as a shortcut, which was disruptive to the staff in the immediate work area.

It wasn’t really an Health and Safety issue, so we couldn’t restrict access as such.

But I got to thinking.  If I could obtain an official looking sign, and label the door/cover the electronic swipe point, it might just discourage the shortcutters.

It worked a treat.

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Pole Dancing during work breaks?

186149-sexual-harassmentA FEMALE road construction worker is considering whether to sue a Victorian contractor over claims she was harassed for two horrendous years.

Kate Mathews, 37, the only woman employed in the company’s roadwork gangs, claims she was forced to endure countless remarks and questions about her sex life.

She says she was told she could provide pole-dancing entertainment for the men during work breaks.

I have a simple test for this sort of harassment.

The mother/sister test.

If you wouldn’t behave like that to your mother or sister, then you shouldn’t be behaving like to your co-worker.

The final straw for Kate Mathews?  She left after one co-worker told her he was going to rape her.

Further reading:
Ex-labourer Kate Mathews says sexual harassment forced her out of a job
Road construction gang ruined my life, says Kate Mathews
Hot Topic: Woman road worker’s sex case
Workers rally to support Kate

3AW Radio:
Road-worker subjected to porn, abuse


Laptops damage sperm

In today’s Age newspaper was this article:
LAPTOP computers may be damaging male fertility because they overheat men's scrotums, new research suggests.

If you are going to use a laptop, you really want to invest in a lap desk.

“Why?”, you ask?

Well apart from the risk of cooking your scrotum*, there is also the risk of third degree burns, and “toasted” skin.  A quick Google for laptop desks, turns up these:
Lazy Laptop stand logitech lap desk

(click on the pictures to be taken to the vendor’s websites)

* – when I was a pimply faced youth, I learnt in a sex education teacher that a hot bath was effective in killing sperm.  Seems now that a quick 30 min session of World of Warcraft will do just as well…

Laptops and burns – the problem

60.3 Celsius, it was very hot. If you’ve been using laptops for a while, you might have heard about the dangers of laptops burning your thighs.  If you have, you’ve probably also heard about the Swedish guy who suffered burns to his penis.  When I reviewed my employers’ recent draft “computer use” policy, I noticed the laptop section was missing a section on laptop heat.

So I had a look at the available medical research.  And there isn’t much.  There is one 2004 study which found that skin burns will occur over a period of 8 hours at 42.5 Celsius (108.5 Fahrenheit).  There was the 2008 case of a 24 year old male suffering a 8×3 cm burn on his right thigh.  He had fallen asleep while watching a movie.  Six hours later, he woke up with a deep second degree burn.  And there is the case of the Swedish chap with the burnt penis.

I decided to run a test, to see what heat a laptop generates.  And I thought it would be interesting to look at the differences between the various Windows versions.

The test rig:
Dell E4200 Laptop, towel, PassMark BurnInTest software

Highest temperature seen: 60.3 Celsius / 140.54 Fahrenheit

Temperature under the towel
This was measure by placing the temperature sensor under the first layer of a towel.  The laptop was then run until it reached an operating temperature.

  Celsius Fahrenheit
DOS 37.9 100.2
Windows XP SP3 38.6 101.5
Windows Vista SP2 39.4 102.9
Windows 7 37 98.6

Fan exhaust port temperature
This was measured by placed the temparture sensor outside the fan exhaust port.

  Celsius Fahrenheit
Windows XP SP3 42.3 108.1
Windows Vista SP2 45.2 113.4
Windows 7 43.2 109.8


Differences in operating systems?
No as much as I thought.  I was expecting Vista and Windows 7 to be cooler than MS-DOS and Windows XP, as they have later technology (power/thermal management) built right in. 

About that 60.3 Celsius measurement you mentioned earlier?
I had the laptop resting on a blanket, which was resting my lap.  My lap felt warm, so I grabbed the thermometer.  60.3 Celsius! 

Further reading
2002: The Lancet – Lap burn due to laptop computer
2004: Journal of Burn Care & Rehabilitation – Temperature threshold for burn injury: an oximeter safety study.
2008: Journal of Burn Care and Research – Thigh Burn Associated With Laptop Computer Use

What the heck is “Automation Surprise”?

Well, as it turns out:

JetStar Over two decades ago, Wiener (1989) described the concept of ‘automation surprise’, where the reaction of flight crews to the unexpected actions of an automated aircraft system was, at times; ‘What is it doing? Why did it do that? What will it do next?’ (Sarter and Woods, 1995; Sarter, 2008). Aviation safety occurrence reports worldwide indicate that such problems still occur in air transport aircraft today.
Go-around event – Melbourne Airport, Victoria – 21 July 2007 – VH-VQT, Airbus Industrie A320-232

(my emphasis).

Sure JetStar offers cheap flights.  But they’re cheap for a reason.

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Just call me “Mr. TBA” then.

I once was interviewed for an internal job, I was not successful*

Fast forward six weeks later, to where one of the interviewers was running a training course I was on.

“Who are you?”, asked the (former) interviewer.

I am Spartacus’, much to the mirth of the other attendees.

Just before our Health and Safety Representative submitted his resignation, the employer updated the “Emergency Personnel” posters.

“Hey Dale, I’m now Mr. TBA!”.

After he left, I asked the posters to be updated, as I’m the sole Health and Safety Representative for my particular work area.
Yes, you can guess what happened:


Just call me Mr. TBA.

* the successful candidate (SC) only lasted a couple of months in the job.

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