If your work environment contains a high level of harmful airborne particulates, it is crucial to wear the best protective equipment possible. To achieve this, you must take into account various aspects.
Inappropriate respiratory protection for your needs and work environment can have serious consequences. For example, if the respiratory protection device (RPD) does not adapt to the shape of the face, harmful particulates can find their way inside the mask.
An RPD that doesn’t meet the protection needs required by the work environment can be very dangerous for the worker. Each device or cartridge provides specific protection that must be respected.
Misuse of an RPD or using the wrong equipment can cause:
- Dizziness and nausea
- Impact on cognitive development
- Chronic respiratory problems
- Stomach ulcers
What should be considered?
When selecting your respiratory protection device, it is crucial to check its certification. Unfortunately, certain RPDs are replicas or fake products without any certifications, meaning no testing has been conducted.
Look for NIOSH-certified products to ensure quality and standard compliance.
A seal test determines whether the safety mask is well positioned on the worker’s face. A seal test must be conducted before each use to ensure the safety mask has a proper airtight seal on the face.
Never underestimate the importance of comfort. For example, a worker wearing a safety mask with a silicone seal or any other soft and flexible material may encourage the user to keep their RPD on a little longer.
Also, an even distribution of pressure points all over the safety mask prevents pain over the user’s head.
Effective communication is vital in facilitating collaboration among work colleagues and ensuring everyone’s safety. Therefore, opting for an RPD offers clear and precise communication and a good speech diaphragm.