Safety Tip of the Week – Respiratory Protective Equipment Cleaning Procedures (Mandatory)

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.134 Appendix B-2, respiratory cleaning procedures are indeed mandatory.

Procedures for Cleaning Respirators

Prepare your respirator for cleaning. Follow these steps:

  • Remove filters, cartridges, or canisters, dissemble facepieces removing speaking diaphragms, demand and pressure-demand valves assemblies, hoses, or any components recommended by your respiratory protection manufacturer.
  • Discard or repair any defective parts.
  • Wash respirator components in warm water at a temperature of (43 degrees Celsius or 110 degrees Fahrenheit, maximum), with a mild detergent or with a cleaner recommended by your respirator manufacturer.
  • Use a stiff bristle (not wire) brush to facilitate the removal of dirt. Again, rinse respirator components thoroughly in clean, warm, preferably running water at a temperature of (43 degrees Celsius or 110 degrees Fahrenheit, maximum). Drain the respirator.
  • Sometimes a cleaner solution does not contain a disinfecting agent, so parts should be immersed for two minutes in one of these solutions: hypochlorite solution, aqueous solution of iodine solution, or other commercially available cleansers of equivalent disinfectant quality when used as directed, if their use is recommended or approved by the respirator manufacturer.
  • Thoroughly rinse your respirator, drain, and then hand-dry with a clean lint-free cloth, or dry in a clean air environment.
  • Reassemble your facepiece, replacing filters, cartridges, and canisters when necessary.
  • Finally, TEST YOUR RESPIRATOR to ensure all the components work properly. Contact your supervisor or Respiratory Protection Administrator if any problems are discovered.
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