Development of Standard Data for Donning and Doffing Personal Protective Equipment
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Industrial and Systems Engineering
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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is specialized clothing or equipment worn to minimize exposure to a variety of occupational hazards. It has been estimated that 20 million U.S. workers wear some form of PPE. How much time it takes for employees to don and doff PPE and whether they should be compensated for this time has been frequently litigated in the last decade. Surprisingly, few studies have been performed to determine empirical donning and doffing times for PPE where the detailed method is documented for the given times. Three studies were conducted as part of this dissertation. In one study, a detailed method was developed for donning a single-use personal fire escape mask (aka smoke hood). A time study of the method was conducted to derive a donning time standard. In another study, donning and doffing multiple layers of different combinations of work gloves was conducted. In a third study, donning and doffing methods and times for common PPE used in industry such as ear plugs, aprons, safety glasses, etc. were developed. A computer model was refined to enable researchers or practitioners to easily determine standard times for donning and doffing. The studies demonstrate that Time Study is an effective means of determining don and doff times for PPE.