US 3815153 A
There is disclosed an apron-like body cover integrally and seamlessly fashioned from a rectangular piece of flexible sheet material, losing only a neck hole and two tie base stress-spreading holes. The ties are relatively wide and increase in width along their extent from the bases thereof. The distal ends of the ties are initially joined to the main body by frangible connections which assist in packaging of the body covers and in their being dispensed from hanging supports.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Vito] June 11, 1974  PROTECTIVE GARMENTS FORE lGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Y 1 lnvemorl Vito, Woodstock, 1,030,374 5/I966 Great Britain 2/48  Assignee: Becton-Dickinson and Company,
East Rutherf rd, NJ, Primary ExaminerAlfred R. Guest Filed: Mar. 1973 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Cushman, Darby &
Cushman  Appl. No.: 346,020
 ABSTRACT  US. Cl. 2/51 There is disclosed an apron |ike b cover integrally  Int. Cl A4ld 13/04 and Seamlessly f hi d f a rectangular piece f  Field of Search 2/51, 49 R, 48, DIG. 7 flexible sheet t ial, losing only a neck hole and two tie base stress-spreading holes. The ties are rela-  References C'ted tively wide and increase in width along their extent UNITED STATES PATENTS from the bases thereof. The distal ends of the ties are 1,497,685 6/1924 Hoymc 2/48 x initially joined to the main y by frangible Connec- 2,282,547 5/1942 Spanel 2/48 tions which assist in packaging of the body covers and 2,621,330 12/1952 Musselwhite 2/49 R in their being dispensed from hanging supports. 2,763,867 9/!956 Chagnon 2/49 R 3,146,464 9/1964 Burnett 2/49 R 5 Claims, 4 Drawmg Flgures 2%,56 ,/z iq 3 4 @A lL if 44 r M g *2 j PATENTEUJUH 1 914 1815153 sum-ear 2 PROTECTIVE GARMENTS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Workers in many industrial occupations have become accustomed to the wearing of protective garments, either to prevent their own clothing from becoming soiled or to prevent their contamination of the products they work on, or both. A prime example is the food processing industry where, in addition, care must be taken to ensure that microorganisms do not grow in crevices of such protective garments, then become accidentally placed in contact with the food being processed, resulting in contamination of the food. Experience has shown that such contamination can be the product of reuse of protective garments which include germ-harboring seams.
During recent years the public demand for convenience foods has grown beyond all expert forecasts. Travel, working mothers and wives, school lunch programs, child care and eldery care centers, freezing techniques, packaging improvements and urban and rural food storage and displays have all advanced the desires of the consuming public and accelerated the food producing industries to satisfy the consumer demands.
In varying extent, the comestibles processing busninesses, whether meats, fruits, sea products, dairy items, poultry or vegetables have in common a necessity to be constantly on guard against contamination. Also shared by such enterprises are varying extents of pulp, blood, grease, fats, water, stains and other matter that plagues plant machinery, premises and personnel.
Suchprocessing personnel work in heat, extreme cold and drafts on slippery floors,- and with dangerous equipment and tools. Many categories are highly seasonal and emply workers for only brief periods of time.
Excepting some individuals who have a liking for such work, food processing personnel in general are those unqualified'or unable to find other employment. A high percentage of food processing labor has a poorly developed sense of responsibility. There results a need for steady supervision by qualified management of the operating personnel, its tools, apparel, gloves, etc., and of thevats, slicers, mixers and other equipment and machines. To reduce the danger of food contamination and the disastrous consequences thereof, plant managements and supervisors use every possible aid to such stewardship over capital equipment and workers.
Readers of newspapers and television news viewers and listeners are aware of recent deaths caused by botulism and the condemnation of millions of dollars in unsafe processed foods founed in warehouses and in stores. Gloves and aprons with fractured coatings, or constructions entailing sewed or sealed hems, folds, stitches, and the assembly of various parts by means of closures are all sites for harboring potentially deadly bacteria. These impurity perils may be reduced by proper cleaning and laundering of processing equipment and garments worn by the workers. However, the simple is here made complex by a series of socioeconomic factors.
As relates to uniforms, aprons, protective sleeves and other types of protective items, some companies buy and supply them to appropriate employees gratis; others sell them at cost or at a profit; manyfirms, especially those located in cities, rent needed articles from commercial linen services, and still others permit each employee to purchase and maintain his or her shirt and trousers, or uniform-type dresses, aprons, etc.
Industrial apparel rental and laundry costs are high, and the services often unreliable. Dishonesty is common, i.e., charges made for items not furnished, and claims for shortages, i.e., allegations by such commercial rentals that the number of total units gathered were fewer than those previously asserted to have been delivered. To counter such fraud, renters assign one or more persons to check such rentals on arrival by actual count, and again at the time of pickup by the rental service. The foregoing adds to costs, which, understandably, are borne by the ultimate consumer.
Compounding the overall muddle of food processing work, garments are the subject of sizes, styles, types, colors, materials and price categories, particularly as such relate to female workers. Hence, the basic logistics of supply, maintenance, distribution and sanitary control within a plant become quite involved, costly and conductive to disputes because of varying individual preferences, physical variations and job require ments.
Once the problems of worker protective garment selection are dispensed with, the sanitary maintenance of such items are a daily and endless task. Because of the general lower level of intelligence quotient of the personnel wearing such apparel, gloves, etc., the problems are further intensified. There are reports from food production executives and supervisors of rubber gloves being flung on the floor and then trod upon at quitting time, and of head pieces and aprons being similarly abused.
Uniforms are very frequently worn by employees to their homes and laundered there. Many live where it is difficult to keep things clean. Especially under such conditions do seams, folds, tucks, hems, snaps, zippers, buttons, cuffs and stitches become havens for deadly and venomous organisms. Simply, there exists no practical control of personal on-the-job attire when states of affairs as the foregoing prevail.
As a protection from fluids, greases, water, etc., nonporous aprons, sleeves, etc., are required. It is basic that any material that will exclude fluids will also be substantially air-tight, and, whether the barrier material be only one mil in thickness or one-eighth of an inch thick, the wearer will find such protective items of wear hot. Discomfort, however, can be alleviated by fullness in size, as opposed to close fit, and a design permitting maximum air circulation and dissemination.
The invention grew out of further research on the one-piece body cover that is the subject of the copending application of Vitol, Ser. No. 303,019, filed Nov. 2, 1972.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION There is disclosed an apron-like body cover integrally and seamlessly fashioned from a rectangular piece of flexible sheet material, losing only a neck hole and two tie base stress-spreading holes. The ties are relatively wide and increase in width along their extent from the bases thereof. The distal ends of the ties are initially joined to the main body by frangible connections which assist in packaging of the body covers and in their being dispensed from hanging supports.
The body cover may be worn-over a workers front and tied in the back, or it may be worn over the users back and tied in front. In the latter instance, usually two such body covers would be worn: a first over the back and a second over the front so that the tied ties of the back cover underlie the front cover. The two covers are wide enough that they substantially overlap one another at the workers sides.
Preferably the body covers are die cut in stacks which are then mounted, from near the upper edge of each, to a horizontal bar-like hanging support. This assembly is wound around the support and the resulting roll is slid into a' suitable shipping container such as a corrugated paper box, a fiberboard tube or a sleeve of synthetic plastic film.
What is disclosed is protective wear intended to shield the individual employed in the food and allied industries, while at the same time safeguarding the consuming public from common food-related bacteria, falling human hairs, dandruff, other torso scurf that becomes detached from the epidermis, human perspiration, etc., the safeguarding being at lower costs than I with existing conventional protective wear.
The protective garment is a laterally extensive apronlike covering with a cutout for the head, extensive portions resting on both shoulders, and fastened by self ties. The entire article is die cut at one time for a single rectangular length of material with nothing to be sewed or assembled. The garment when removed from its hanger is ready for immediate use by the wearer.
The body covering garment is preferably made from a non-porous material, waterproof by its nature, of non-woven or, less usually, a coated or impregnated woven fabric. Thus, this products design, in conjunction with a waterproof, non-fraying material emerges when die-cut, in an article with clean, seamless periph ery and devoid of any harboring points for bacteria or bacteria producing substances.
A feature of the design from a cost and manufacturing vantage is that the factor of material waste, i.e.,
scrap, is minimal, with every square inch of material,
excepting for-the head cutout and tie hinge holes, is utilitarian and wholly functional. Once die-cut, the products need only to be mounted and rolled for packaging,'and then placed in a suitable container for shipment.
Die cutting to the shape designed is very important. The onlyalternative means of cutting would be to mark in the outline of the product on the material, or on a length of paper attached to the material, and to then cut with scissors or a hand knife, one by one, which would be prohibitive cost-wise and wholly impractical with regard to meeting sales demands, and also as regards the surface space needed if the cutting was accomplished in such a manner. Cutting with a power knife as employed in the manufacture of apparel would be costly and also impractical. For example, the head opening could be cut out only by a slit first cut to the perimeter so that after the head opening had been completed with a vertical, conventional reciprocating blade knife, the slit ould have to be sewn, sealed or otherwise closed again. That last step would not only add to cost but create a bacterial lodging area.
Furthermore, conventional garment type cutting machines, whether vertical blade or rotary blade, generate much heat, and thus fuse the edges of the material being cut. Such fused edges, upon being parted, are
fuzzy and irregular, and bring into being havens for microbes and subsequent contamination. Also, edges so out are sharp and hard and uncomfortable to the wearer. Cutting out the two circular hinge points by means other than a power-driven die is impossible excepting with a hand punch and maul. and then one-. by-one, and not en masse.
For use, the body cover apron is simply placed over the head and the two ties attached to the panel are tied at the rear of the body by means of crossing as in a common knot and then, with the slack taken up, the one tie next to the crossover is wrapped around the other tie in a continuing direction while the other tie next to the crossover is wrapped in the opposite direction. The foregoing method of tying is faster than the customary bow tie, and an virtual necessity in the instance of a elastomeric and elongatable film and sheeting materials, i.e., rubber, polyvinyl chloride, polycarbonate, polyethylene, etc. In connection with the forementioned method of tying, the design of the one piece protective apron ties is such that their shapes and lengths permit fastening securely.
If a back cover is also to be worn, it is put on first and is then tied across the front of the body using the same means as the front panel ties. Simply, there are a total of four ties, two of them a part of the back panel of the coat, and which ties are tied at the front of the body, and two ties that are part of the front panel, and which are tied at the back of thebody, at about the waist. The front panel covers the tied ties of the rear panel. I
With the weight of this design of protective wear distributed evenly on the shoulders and upper body, and without the binding encumbrance of seams or armholes, the wearer benefits from a maximum of comfort and bodily protection. The construction and configuration permit air passage from the bottom, the two sides, both underarm areas and the neck. Optionally, the body covers provided for use over the wearers back are provided with a field of small ventilating holes from a point below the collar bone across the back between the shoulder blades, these air holes being punched out by the cutting die as the cover is cut. These holes are preferably 0.125 in diameter. There are, e.g., a total of 38 holes in the field. I
The body covers may be worn in conjunction with" BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of a body cover provided in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary front elevation view of a plurality of such body cover on a hanging support which functions as a dispenser for the body cover; and
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a worker wearing two such body covers one in front and the other behind, so that the two covers considerably overlap at the workers sides;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a stack of the body covers in packaged form.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The body cover is die-cut from a rectangular strip of flexible sheet material. The material, and the length and thickness thereof depends on what use will be made thereof, whether reuse is intended, and packaging facilities available. Workers who stand behind counters can often get by with covers of jerkin length whereas other workers need protection down to their boot or shoe tops. If the body covers are to be manually, individually packaged, although this is not preferred, the extra time consumed on harder to manage thinner material can be more costly than the material saved. Thus, the use of thicker material, less buoyant in the air, can be less expensive in such an instance. Also, if the body covers are to be used for more than one half-shift of shift, which is also not preferred, they may need to be washed, in which case the use of heftier gauge material may be dictated by the subjection of the body covers to sprays of high pressure liquid cleaning solution. Currently the most preferred material is polyethylene film. Polyethylene and polyvinylchloride films can also be used, as may plastic coated woven fabrics and films and non-Wovens such as du Pont Tyvek nonwoven polyolefin sheet material.
Typical lengths end 12 to end 14 of the body cover 10 are 48, 60 and 72 inches (equating to apron lengths 38, 50 and 62 inches long, i.e., measured from imaginary shoulder line 16 to lower margin 14). The most rational'width to be used when fabricating such body covers for adult humans of the average size predominating in the United States is 36 inches long, based in part on the limited range of widths of such plastic sheet material as sold on rolls by its manufacturers.
The body cover 10 is shown provided between its end margins 12, 14, and midway between its side margins 18, 20, with a neck opening 22, preferably generally circular, about 8 inches in diameter and centered about 10 inches from the end 12.
The imaginary shoulder line 16 divides the body cover 10 into a long panel 24 extending to the margin 14 and a short panel 26 extending to the margin 12. When the long panel will be covering the wearers back, it is provided, in a central region which will overlay the vicinity of the wearers shoulder blades, with an array 28 (FIG. 3) of vent holes 30, preferably die-cut with the body cover. In the example, there are 38 vent holes 30, each about inch in diameter.
The body cover is completed by two integral ties 32, 34, each having its base in a respective one of the two side margins 18, of the long panels 24.
The ties 32 and 34 are mirror images of one another and have their respective bases at the side margins 18, 20 of long panel 24.
The ties 32 and 34 are formed by die cutting along oblique lines 40 respectively adjacent the side margins 18, 20 of the body cover.
The two cutting lines 40 are mirror images of one another about the longitudinal centerline of the body cover.
The ties of the illustrated example are each about 24 inches from base to tip.
Thus, the lines 40 join the end margin of the short panel 26 about 9 inches from the side margins 18, 20 defining the tips 46 of the ties 32 and 34. At the bases of the ties 32 and 34 of lines 40 terminate in die-cut circular openings 50. In the example, the openings 50 are about one inch in diameter and serve to spread stresses which would otherwise predispose the material to rip at these sites at the bases of the ties 32 and 34.
The ties 32,34 of the example reach widthsof about 6 inches at their bases, so the distance between each respective line and the neck opening 22 at the shoulder line is 6 inches.
Please understand that the dimensions given herein are of the example, to ensure the full disclosure of the best mode currently contemplated and are not limitations on the principles of the invention.
When the body covers 10 are die cut, e.g. a dozen or to several hundred to one stroke, a short segment 36 of each line 40 is left uncut near the tips 46 of the ties 32, 34. Three additional holes 38 are shown provided adjacent the end margin 12, respectively in the two outer corners near the side margins 18, 20 and generally on the longitudinal centerline.
To wear the body cover 10, as a front cover the user slips the neck opening 22 over his or her head, reaches down to grasp both tie 32 and tie 34 and ties them togetheracross his or her back.
To wear the body cover 10 as a back cover, the user slips the neck opening 22 over his or her head, reaches down to grasp both tie 32 and tie 34' and ties them together across his or her front, below mid chest. Generally, when the body cover 10 is worn as a back cover another body cover 10 will be worn as a front cover (FIG. 3). In such an instance the back cover is put on first to the long panel of the front cover will cover over the tied ties of the back cover i.e. to prevent these tied ties from getting in the way of machinery confronted by the wearer or of encountering objects such as food products being carried by the wearer.
When a stack of body covers 10 has been cut it is preferably packed for shipment as follows:
A hanging bar is provided, having a horizontal length generally equating to the width of the body covers. The bar 60 is provided with five forwardly projecting prongs 62,64. The prongs 62 fit through the holes 38 and the prongs 64 fit through the cut lines 40 immediately subjacent the short uncut segments 36 so that the segments 36 rest on the prongs 64. Then the bar 60 is rotated about its own longitudinal axis to convolutely wind the stack of body covers about the bar and this roll 66 (FIG. 4) is slid into an appropriate container, such as a corrugated paper box 68. After shipment to the point of use, the roll may be withdrawn from the package, unrolled while still connected to the hanging bar at 62, 64 and the hanging bar appropriately mounted on a wall e.g. via a mounting hole 70.
At the beginning of each shift or half shift, each worker filing past the mounted stack need but slip his or her fingers behind the front-most body cover and pull it off using a motion similar to that used to pull a top sheet from a legal pad. In this process, the uncut segments 36 are usually broken freeing the ties 32, 34 to be tied. If these segments do not rupture in demounting the body cover from the hanging bar, they may be easily broken by hand by the wearer.
It is of significance to notice that the flaring of the ties from base to tip aids in keeping the ties tied and also resultsin the remainder of the body cover providing substantial coverage for the wearers shoulder. That is a matter of importance when the wearer encounters spatters that could wet his or her shoulder area or who has had the occassion to carry wet things on his or her shoulder. This is believed to be an unusual advantage for an apron-like garment and is accomplished by avoiding scrapping material between the cuts 40 and the ties 32, 34; g
It should now be apparent that the protective garment as described hereinabove possesses each of the attributes set forth in the specification under the heading Summary of the Invention hereinbefore. Because the protective garment of the invention can be moditied to some extent without departing from the principles of the invention as they have been outlined and explained in this specification, the present invention should be understood as encompassing all such modifications as are within the spirit and scope of the following claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A protective garment for instance for a food processing industry worker, comprising:
a body cover, constituted by a generally rectangular sheet of waterproof, flexible sheet material having means defining a generally circular, neck opening disposed near one end thereof on the longitudinal centerline thereof to define an imaginary shoulder line crossing the sheet from side margin to side margin through the neck opening to divide the sheet into a long panel and a short panel; said long panel being wider than the body covers intended wearer sufficiently to permit the left and right side margins of thelong panel to overlap the wearers outseams when the cover is secured about the wearer; two cuts in said sheet, one adjacent each side margin thereof; each cut proceeding generally longitudinally of the sheet from near the end margin of the short panel and terminating in stress spreading opening after reaching a length of about two feet, the said two cuts being so disposed that the sheet material remaining between the cuts and the neck opening in the region of the imaginary shoulder line is available for substantially covering the wearers shoulders;
the two cuts terminating a short distance from the end margin of the short panel to define uncut portions which initially facilitate handling and packaging of the protective garment, but which may be easily broken to permit tying of the ties about the wearer when the garment is to be worn;
means defining a hole through each tie near the tip thereof and means defining a hole through the short panel near the end margin thereof, whereby the protective garment may be hangingly supported via these three holes while said uncut portions remain unbroken.
2. The protective garment of claim 1 further including means defining a plurality of ventilating openings through the long panel near the neck opening.
3. The protective garment of claim 1 wherein the two cuts are so obliquely oriented that both ties generally flare from the bases thereof toward the tips thereof.
4. The protective garment of claim 1 wherein the body cover is completely seamless to avoid providing sites for growth of food contaminator organisms.
5. The protective garment of claim 1 wherein the three holes and the terminations of the two cuts are disposed in a substantially straight line traversing the garment, whereby the garment, may be hangingly supported from five similarly aligned protrusions respectively through the holes and through the cuts adjacent the terminations.