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WCB Standards

WCB Standard: PPE 1 - 1997 Leg Protective Devices (Amended January 2008)

© Workers' Compensation Board of British Columbia. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be copied, reproduced, or distributed for profit or other commercial enterprise, nor may any part be incorporated into any other publication, without written permission of the Workers' Compensation Board of B.C.

1. Scope

This standard provides specifications and performance criteria for leg protection for a worker using a chainsaw.

2. Definitions

Leg protection means personal protective equipment worn for protection from leg injury due to contact with a moving saw chain.

3. Types

Pant type - the protection material is secured to and held in position by the trousers.

Apron type - the protection material is secured to an apron style garment normally worn outside the trousers and secured around the worker's legs and waist.

Chap type - the protection material is secured to a chap style garment normally worn outside the trousers and secured around the worker's legs.

4. General Requirements

Leg protection must be of materials suitable for the intended application. The use of the leg protection must not unduly restrict the manoeuvrability of the worker. Leg protection must not shrink more than 10% when cleaned in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions during its service life.

The protective material of leg protection must be at least 711 mm (28 in) long and a width covering 180 in the front of both legs from inseam to outseam plus 100 mm (4 in) on the left side of both legs.

If the 28" length requirement results in a tripping hazard, the protective pad can be shorter, as long as it covers an area extending from the crotch to within 75 mm (3 in) of the centre of the ankle. (As amended August 2002).

When leg protection is worn by a worker, the protective material must extend at minimum from the crotch to within 75 mm (3 in) of the ankle. The protective material must be effectively secured in this position.

Effective measures must be taken to prevent unravelling or fraying of material along any edges or other area where unravelling or fraying is likely to occur.

NOTE: When a "heat seal" is used to control unravelling or fraying of synthetic fibres, the "heat seal" must be effective over the life of the product. A heat seal subject to cracking must be covered to prevent abrasion of the wearer's skin.

5. Performance Requirements

Leg protection must meet the requirements of the "Threshold Chain Speed" Test. Tests must be done on leg protection samples assembled in the manner which the leg protection will be produced for distribution.

5.2 "Threshold Chain Speed" Test

NOTE: The threshold chain speed is the chain speed at which rapid cut-through occurs and below which cut-through consistently requires 1.01 seconds or more.

When tested, as described in clause 5.2.2, leg protection must have a threshold chain speed of 1098 m/min (3,600 ft/min) or more.

5.2.2 Test Method
The test apparatus must have

    (a) a simulated "leg" made of wood approximately 150 mm (6 in) in diameter with a 20 mm ( in) layer of resilient covering (Ensolite or similar material) attached to simulate the resilience of flesh, and designed to allow the leg protection to be mounted and tested similar to the configuration the leg protection will take when worn by a worker while his leg is "straight",
    (b) the "leg" must be mounted to allow rotation about the longitudinal axis of up to 75 mm (3 in) at the outer circumference, against an applied torque. (See Figure 1). The torque applied must be at least 1.7 Newton-metres (15 inch-pounds) and may increase as the leg rotates,

    Figure 1 

    (c) a chainsaw with Oregon 72 LP chisel chain and capable of a chain speed of at least 1,220 meter/min (4,000 ft/min). The chainsaw must pivot in a vertical plane to contact the "leg" (see Figure 1) with a downward force of 50 1 Newtons (11 0.1 lb), and
    (d) instrumentation to measure and record chain speed and cut-through time.
The test procedure is

    (a) start the saw and set the chain speed to the constant level selected for the test cut.
    (b) the bottom of the running saw chain must freefall 6 mm ( in) onto the test specimen mounted on the "leg",
    (c) the time from contact of the saw chain with the test specimen must be recorded to the nearest 0.01 second. The chain speed during each test must also be recorded,
    (d) successive trials must be done on the same material until the maximum chain speed ( 15 metres/min or 50 ft/min) at which cut-through does not occur for at least 1.01 seconds or more is determined. This will be the threshold chain speed for the tested material.
    (e) the chainsaw must be maintained in good repair and the saw cutters kept sharp in accordance with the saw chain manufacturer's recommendations.
6. Identification

Leg protection must be permanently marked on the exterior of the leg protection with characters at least 6 mm ( in) high to show the manufacturer's name or recognized trademark, the design specification standard, and the performance standard and level met by the protective material. The year of manufacture must be included on a label or be otherwise marked on the garment.

NOTE: The label must include garment level of performance. Some sample wording is "Meets WCB of BC PPE 1, 1997[3600]" or "Meets WCB of BC PPE 1, 1997-ASTM F1414-04[CS50-3300]" or "Meets WCB of BC PPE 1, 1997-ISO 11393-2 Class 2" or "Meets WCB of BC PPE 1, 1997-EN 381-5 (1995)[Class 2]" or similar wording.

For example, a garment that is manufactured to the design specification of the WCB PPE 1 standard and meets the performance requirements for Class 2 garments in the ISO 11393-2 standard could incorporate a garment label as follows:

Sample PPE 1 garment label 

7. Care and Maintenance

Instructions on the proper care, maintenance and repair of leg protection must be provided by the manufacturer.

Leg protection which shows damage which will affect its performance must be removed from service.

NOTE: Test procedures and ratings for threshold chain speed may differ depending on the standard referenced; however performance in the field may be similar. Comparisons of performance are best made by comparison of threshold chain speed numbers obtained using the same test method. Under these circumstances, the higher the chain speed the greater the cut protection.

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