Personal Protective Equipment

Arc rated clothing, hard hats, goggles, face shields, steel-toed shoes, respirators, and insulated rubber gloves are all examples of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Federal standards require each facility to ensure that personal protective equipment be provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition wherever it is necessary to prevent injury.

Respiratory Protection

OSHA standards require employers to establish and maintain a respiratory protective program whenever respirators are required to protect the health of workers.

  • Air-Purifying Devices -PPE

The air-purifying device cleans the contaminated atmosphere. Chemicals can be used to remove specific gases and vapors and mechanical filters can remove particulate matter. This type of respirator is limited in its use to those environments where the air contaminant level is within the specified concentration limitation of the device. These devices do not protect against oxygen deficiency.

  • Atmosphere or Air Supplying Devices

Atmosphere-or air-supplying devices are the class of respirators that provide a respirable atmosphere to the worker.

Written Operating Procedures

A written respirator program is required for the selection, use and care of the respirators.

Proper Selection of Respirator PPE

Respirators shall be selected on the basis of hazards to which the worker is exposed. Selecting the correct respirator for a given circumstance or hazard is imperative.

Training and Fitting of Respirator PPE

The respirator user must be instructed and trained in the selection, use, maintenance, and storage of the respirators.

Cleaning and Disinfecting of Respirator PPE

Respirators must be regularly cleaned and disinfected. Those issued for the exclusive use of one worker should be cleaned daily after use or more frequently if needed.

Storage of Respirator PPE

Storage procedures require that respirators “be stored in a convenient, clean and sanitary location.”

The purpose of good respirator storage is to ensure that respirator will function properly when used. Care must be taken to ensure that respirators are stored to protect against dust, harmful chemicals, sunlight, excessive heat or cold, and moisture.

Inspection and Maintenance of Respirator PPE

Respirators used routinely shall be inspected during cleaning. Worn or deteriorated parts shall be replaced. Respirators for emergency use such as self-contained devices, shall be thoroughly inspected at least once a month and after each use.

Medical Exams

Persons shall not be assigned to tasks requiring the use of respirators unless it has been determined that they are physically able to perform the work and use the equipment. A physician shall determine the health and physical conditions that are pertinent for an employee’s ability to work while wearing a respirator. The medical condition of the worker should be reviewed annually.

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