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Bristol installs new hard PPE decontamination process at its in-house managed services facilities

Published on 14 January 2015
The new equipment allows items to be washed in an entirely enclosed chamber into which bagged contaminated items
Items of clothing and other personal protective equipment can now be decontaminated in a special unit built by Bristol

In a further extension to its in-house managed services facilities, Bristol has installed a new washing and decontamination unit for hard PPE items which will be especially suited to boots, helmets and supporting frames for self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).

Items of clothing and other personal protective equipment, which are not suitable for cleansing in automatic washing machines used for soft PPE, can now be cleaned and decontaminated in a special unit designed and built by Bristol. The new equipment allows items to be washed in an entirely enclosed chamber into which bagged contaminated items, such as firefighter boots and helmets which may have come into contact with blood borne pathogens or asbestos, can be opened and thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated.

Linked to the existing washing facilities in the managed services area, the waste water will be disposed of through the special waste water filtration system under the Trade Effluent Consent granted by the local water authority which was first installed several years ago when the waste management of decontaminated liquids became an integral part of Bristol’s comprehensive managed care facility.

Edward Shepherd, Bristol’s Service Operations Director, said, “Cleaning boots and helmets which have been exposed to harmful contamination has become an increasingly important requirement from a growing number of fire & rescue services who prefer to source all their head-to-toe PPE from one supplier which enables them to be assured of full operational compatibility. With an increasing number of our PPE users looking to reduce their long term PPE costs by adopting a managed care facility, this has meant that whilst still relatively small, there are more incidences of contaminated hard PPE being returned to our managed services centres needing to be cleansed. This new facility will enable us to provide the decontamination process as an integral part of our service, where required”.

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