NFPA 1952: Standard on Surface Water Operations Protective Clothing and Equipment
Current Edition: 2015 Next Edition: 2020

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What is NFPA 1952?
NFPA 1952: Document Scope

1.1* Scope. A.1.1 Some performance criteria in this standard were based on the U.S. Fire Administration Study, “Protective Clothing and Equipment Needs of Emergency Responders for Urban Search and Rescue Missions.” This report documents the protective clothing and equipment needs for emergency responders engaged in surface water activities. Input was obtained from an emergency responder user requirements committee and resulted in proposed criteria based on a needs and risk analysis. The report contains survey results and test data for a number of materials. 1.1.1* This standard shall specify the minimum design, performance, testing, and certification requirements for protective clothing and equipment items, including full body suits, helmets, gloves, footwear, and personal flotation devices designed to provide limited protection from physical, environmental, thermal, and certain common chemical and biological hazards for emergency services personnel during surface water operations. A.1.1.1 Emergency response personnel can encounter many common liquids during the normal performance of their duties. The reference to limited protection from chemical hazards in 1.1.1 and Chapter 7 should not be interpreted to mean that the protective suits are suitable or are permitted to be used for protection to the wearer during any hazardous materials situation. 1.1.2* This standard shall specify requirements for protective clothing and protective equipment used during operations in surface water, swift water, tidal water, surf, and ice. A.1.1.2 Surface water operations protective clothing and equipment is intended to protect emergency services personnel from physical dangers posed by exposure to in-water hazards and also those hazards that are associated with the climate and the adjacent area. 1.1.3 This standard shall not specify requirements for protective clothing and protective equipment for any offshore water operations or any dive operations. 1.1.4* This standard shall not specify requirements for protective clothing and protective equipment for any other technical rescue operation, any fire-fighting operations, or any hazardous materials emergencies. A.1.1.4 Organizations responsible for any other technical rescue operations should use protective clothing and equipment specifically designed for those activities. The applicable standard is NFPA 1951, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Technical Rescue Incidents. Organizations responsible for fire-fighting applications should use protective clothing and equipment specifically designed for those activities. Applicable standards include the following: (1) NFPA 1971, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting (2) NFPA 1977, Standard on Protective Clothing and Equipment for Wildland Fire Fighting Organizations responsible for hazardous chemical emergencies should use protective clothing and equipment specifically designed for those activities. Applicable standards include the following: (1) NFPA 1991, Standard on Vapor-Protective Ensembles for Hazardous Materials Emergencies (2) NFPA 1992, Standard on Liquid Splash-Protective Ensembles and Clothing for Hazardous Materials Emergencies Organizations responsible for emergency medical operations should use protective clothing and equipment specifically designed for those activities. The applicable standard is NFPA 1999, Standard on Protective Clothing for Emergency Medical Operations. Organizations responsible for CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) incidents should use protective ensembles specifically designed for those activities. Applicable standards include NFPA 1994, Standard on Protective Ensembles for First Responders to CBRN Terrorism Incidents. 1.1.5* This standard shall specify requirements for any accessories or enhancements built into, attached to, or sold with surface water operations protective clothing and equipment by the protective clothing and equipment manufacturer for later attachment, and shall be tested with the protective clothing and equipment with the accessories and enhancements installed or attached, as specified in 4.3.9.4, to assure the performance and functions of the surface water operations protective clothing and equipment. A.1.1.5 Emergency services organizations are cautioned that accessories are not a part of the certified product but could be attached to the certified product by a means not engineered, manufactured, or authorized by the manufacturer. Emergency services organizations are cautioned that if the accessory or its means of attachment causes the structural integrity of the certified product to be compromised, the certified product might not comply with the standard for which it was designed, manufactured, and marketed. Additionally, if the accessory or its attachment means are not designed and manufactured from materials suitable for the hazardous environments of emergency incidents, the failure of the accessory or its attachment means could cause injury to the emergency responder. Because the aftermarket for certified product accessories is so broad, emergency services organizations are advised to contact both the manufacturer of the accessory and the manufacturer of the certified product and verify that the accessory and its means of attachment are suitable for use in the intended emergency response environment. Emergency services organizations should seek and receive written documentation from both the accessory manufacturer and the manufacturer of the certified product to validate the following information: (1) The accessory for a certified product and its attachment method will not degrade the designed protection or performance of the certified product below the requirements of the product standard to which it was designed, manufactured, tested, and certified. (2) The accessory, when properly attached to the certified product, will not interfere with the operation or function of the certified product or with the operation or function of any certified product’s component parts. Emergency services organizations are also cautioned that if the means of attachment of the accessory fails to safely and securely attach the accessory to the certified product, the accessory can inadvertently dislodge from the certified product, creating a risk to the wearer or other personnel in the vicinity. 1.1.6 This standard shall not be construed as addressing all of the safety concerns associated with the use of compliant surface water operations protective clothing and equipment. It shall be the responsibility of the persons and organizations that use compliant surface water operations protective clothing and equipment to establish safety and health practices and to determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. 1.1.7 This standard shall not be construed as addressing all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with the use of this standard by testing facilities. It shall be the responsibility of the persons and organizations that use this standard to establish safety and health practices and to determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use of this standard for designing, manufacturing, and testing. 1.1.8 Certification of surface water operations protective clothing and equipment to the requirements of this standard shall not preclude certification to additional appropriate standards where the protective clothing or equipment meets all the applicable requirements of each standard. 1.1.9 Nothing herein shall restrict any jurisdiction or manufacturer from exceeding these minimum requirements.

This standard presents requirements for the protection of emergency services personnel assigned to or involved in surface water search and rescue operations or other surface water incident operations.

Official document scope
What does NFPA 1952 address?

Criteria cover the design, performance, testing, and certification requirements for protective clothing and equipment items designed to provide limited protection from physical, environmental, thermal, and certain chemical and biological hazards for emergency services personnel during operations in surface water, swift water, tidal water, surf, and ice. Specific provisions apply to full body suits, helmets, gloves, footwear, and personal flotation devices.



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