ISRP 2002 Keynote Address

Presenter/author Title Abstract

Metzler, Richard

National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, NIOSH, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, USA


Personal Protective Equipment: Lessons Learned from Terrorist Attacks From December 9 to December 11, 2001, a workshop was held in New York City with more than 150 participants experienced in responding to acts of terrorism. Workshop groups documented responder experiences regarding the performance, availability, and appropriateness of personal protective equipment (PPE). Participants considered the attacks at the World Trade Center and Pentagon; the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma; and the anthrax incidents. Groups included fire fighters, special operations, emergency medical services, law enforcement, construction and trade services, health and safety professionals, and state and federal agencies.

Recommendations were in three general areas. Participants recommended more research and development for identifying selection and use guidelines for PPE used in sustained, disaster and bio-terrorism responses. Equipment standardization and interoperability were recommended as a way to facilitate the use of the myriad of PPE among responder organizations and manufacturers. Safety management recommendations included the development of guidelines to require the use of PPE at large-scale disaster sites, the establishment of site management as early as possible, and the identification of ways to provide real-time safety and health information to responders at incident sites. This presentation will cover these recommendations and describe NIOSH activities to address them.