The International Organization for Standards (ISO) have recently released their latest standard ISO 23616 for greater clarity in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for firefighters.
As one of the most dangerous day jobs that exist in our society, firefighters undoubtedly put themselves in harm’s way to save the lives of others and save many facilities and structures. It is hence inarguable that such modern-day heroes receive the best in class when it comes to protection from the elements and working conditions they have. A 2020 study in Australia found that carcinogenic contaminants were present in many of the offices and equipment that firefighters use, with the flame-retardant chemical PBDE-99 over 70 times more prevalent in firefighters than regular office staff. Supporting research also reinforced that firefighters often become unwell due to the poor maintenance and lack of care of the PPE that they use. For such important members of the continuity, this represents a clear safety issue that is important to resolve. Thanks to the new ISO standard ISO 23616, as well as mobile devices and inspection solutions; the problem is now much simpler to tackle.
Firefighters often have heavy-duty gear that protects them from the harsh and dangerous environments that they operate in. But as aforementioned, it is not always the case that the maintenance and care of such equipment is carried out in the proper way. For many firefighters this can be an unintentionally dangerous extra risk as part of their job. Luckily, thanks to the ISO standard ISO 23616, it is now much easier to inspect and carry out proper management of the PPE used by firefighters. Mobile inspection platforms have now made it possible for most business to carry out business checks and inspections using the same devices that they utilise personally in their daily lives. Organisations in various fields have experienced the benefits of taking inspections normally carried out by the pen and paper method, and putting them on digital devices, with a digital checklist being completed on an inspection application. Features of the smartphone or tablet being used include the camera which can be used to take pictures or scan barcodes/RFID; the touchscreen, which is used for annotations, text recordings, standardised response recordings, image editing etc.; and speech-to-text services for a handsfree approach of data recording. Additional features to most premium inspection applications include GPS timestamps, automatically suggested corrective actions and proactive triggers/alerts.