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Industry Knowledge

How Should You Control Respiratory Hazards?

  • 28,Feb,2015【1】

Respiratory hazards can include airborne contaminants such as biological contaminants, dusts, mists, fumes, and gases, or oxygen-deficient atmospheres. Note that more than one respiratory hazard can be present at the same time. After elimination and substitution, well designed and maintained engineering controls are the preferred methods of controlling worker exposure to hazardous contaminants in the air. These control methods include:


·   mechanical ventilation

·   enclosure or isolation of the process or work equipment

·   proper control and use of process equipment, and

·   process modifications including substitution of less hazardous materials where possible.

Administrative controls may be used in addition to engineering controls. Administrative controls limit workers' exposures by scheduling reduced work times in contaminant areas or by implementing other such work rules. These control measures have many limitations because the hazard is not removed. Administrative controls are not generally favoured because they can be difficult to implement, maintain and are not reliable.