Article included in edition Volume XII :: Nr.2 :: December 2016

Empirical Research

The situated use of PPE against biological risk: The example of a confined safety laboratory type "L3"

Irène Cottin1, Gérard Vallery2 & Sofiane Dahak3
(1) Equipe Travail, Situation et Organisation (TSO), Centre de Recherche en Psychologie: Cognition, Psychisme et Organisations (CRP-CPO), Université de Picardie Jules Verne (UPJV), Chemin du Thil, 80000 Amiens, France
irenacottin@gmail.com
(2) Equipe Travail, Situation et Organisation (TSO), Centre de Recherche en Psychologie: Cognition, Psychisme et Organisations (CRP-CPO), Université de Picardie Jules Verne (UPJV), Chemin du Thil, 80000 Amiens, France
gerard.vallery@wanadoo.fr
(3) Equipe Travail, Situation et Organisation (TSO), Centre de Recherche en Psychologie: Cognition, Psychisme et Organisations (CRP-CPO), Université de Picardie Jules Verne (UPJV), Chemin du Thil, 80000 Amiens, France
d_sofiane@live.fr
Abstract

This article focuses on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) with regard to biological risk. It is based on an action research approach conducted in a confined biological analysis laboratory, of “class 3” safety level. The first results, coming from the analysis of risk perception and the operators’ activity, show that their actual use of PPE depends on both the safety prescription and their own perception of risk in the work activity. At the same time, depending on the constraints caused by the PPE in situation, operators adjust the way they wear or use them, whilst implementing additional strategies to reach both efficiency and safety in the work activity. Thus, work safety in this context requires considering the PPE in a broader framework: the relation between operators, their risk perception and real work activity.

Keywords biological risk, risk perception, personal protective equipment, activity, safety.