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Industry Knowledge

Are There Some Things That You Should Know Before You Choose A Respirator?

  • 28,Mar,2014【584】

    Employers should have a written respirator program that describes the proper procedures for selecting and operating respiratory protective equipment. The correct use of a respirator is just as important as selecting the proper respirator. Parts of the respirator program deal with finding out what hazards are present and how much protection that the workers will need. Other parts should describe how to wear and look after the respirator. 

    Without a complete respiratory protection program, people will probably not receive the best protection from a respirator even if it is the correct choice for a specific job. A respiratory protection program includes several components such as:

·         hazard identification and control

·         exposure assessment

·         respirator selection

·         respirator fit-testing

·         training program

·         inspection and record keeping

·         cleaning and sanitizing respirators

·         repairing and maintaining respirators

·         proper storage of respirators

·         health surveillance

·         standard operating procedures (available in written form)

·         program evaluation.

A physician should examine the medical and psychological fitness of workers. This should be done before they are assigned to work in areas where respirators may be required. The workers must be physically fit to carry out the work while wearing respiratory equipment. They must also be psychologically comfortable (e.g., not claustrophobic) about wearing respirators. 

Workers with beards, long sideburns, or even a two-day stubble may not wear respirators because the hair breaks the seal between the skin and the respirator mask. Wearing eyeglasses would also break the respirator seal. This break means that the respirator mask will "leak" and will not provide the needed respiratory protection. Also, if a worker has facial scars or an acne problem, the facial skin may not be able to form a good seal with a respirator mask.