Safety Tip of the Week – Respirator Protection

Air that’s contaminated or lacks oxygen can be very harmful to your health. Inhaling chemical vapors, gases, or fumes and dust can irritate and even seriously damage the lungs, respiratory systems, or other organs, sometimes fatally.

Respirator Basics:

  • Respirators must always be inspected prior to donning.
    • The inspection should check for missing or worn respirator parts.
  • For air-purifying respirators, the proper cartridge or filter must be selected based on the hazard.
  • Respirator users must don the respirator properly and verify a good fit by performing positive and negative user seal checks each time the respirator is donned.
  • Respirator users must know the limitations of their respirator and stay clean shaven in the respirator seal area.
  • Employees may not share respirators and must only use the respirator for which they have been fitted.
  • Respirators must be cleaned and stored properly after each use. Safe Procedures:
    • Positive Pressure Check: Close off the exhalation valve with the palm of your hand. Exhale gently. The fit is good if you can build up a slight positive pressure inside the face piece without leaks.
    • Negative Pressure Check: Close off the inlets of the cartridges by covering them with the palms of your hands. If you can’t close them off with your hand, a latex or nitrile glove may be used. Inhale gently so the respirator collapses slightly and hold your breath for 10 seconds. The fit is good if no air leaks into the respirator.
Download flyer:  STOTW_815_Respirator Protection

Download Spanish flyer: STOTW_815_Respirator Protection_esp

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