The way to Pick the best Kind of Respiratory Protection

Filtering or powered respirators, self-contained breathing apparatus, emergency escape breathing devices, self-rescuers and more... Most of these are called respiratory protective equipment! Now you ask ,: when should you use them, and more importantly, how can you pick the best equipment to offer you maximum protection?

Here's a good practice guide to allow you to select the right type of respiratory protection.

When should you use respiratory protection?
Prior to making the wearing of respiratory protective gear (RPE) mandatory, it is very important implement other prevention solutions including finding substitutes for hazardous substances or installing air purification techniques (closing off processes, trapping pollutants, ventilating the premises, etc.). When not simple to put these measures in position, or if they're insufficient, you simply must provide respiratory protective gear.

Respiratory protective clothing is used:

If you have a threat that a person’s health will be altered as a result of inhaling air that is certainly polluted by gases, vapours, dust and aerosols or by oxygen-depleted air in the office;
When intervening to tackle a fire or gas leak, as well as in closed spaces the place that the atmosphere can be dangerous on account of inhalation;
In closed areas with an insufficient oxygen supply (contaminated areas).
There are many types of respiratory protective gear well suited for each situation and certain field. They work by placing a physical barrier between the polluted atmosphere at work and the worker’s face (respiratory system, eyes, skin). They are classed as Personal Protective Equipment, therefore it is vital that you make the right replacement for make certain you are well protected.

Execute an evaluation of the workstation
You have to define the circumstances useful beforehand:

Oxygen level
Sort of pollutants (gas, vapours, dust, etc.)
Toxicity with the pollutants
Worst-case-scenario concentrations of each one form of pollutant in the air
Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs), if appropriate
Measurements of the particles regarding aerosols
Exercising from the user
Time period of the work to be performed
Related risks (projection of fluids, fire, etc.)
Respiratory equipment selection guide
There's 2 broad kinds of respiratory protective equipment:

Self-contained breathing apparatus
The gear supplies breathable air from a source. The consumer isn't dependent upon the ambient air
Can be used in closed and confined spaces
Only use this kind of protection if you have any doubt about the quality of the air, along with all atmospheres with an oxygen level < 17%
Filtering respirators
The device filters and purifies the contaminated air. The user breathes the ambient air.
The ambient air must contain between 17 and 21% oxygen
To help you determine the type of respiratory protective gear suitable to your wants, we've provided a decision-making chart depending on the following questions:

As to what situation will the respiratory protective gear be used?
What is the oxygen level during work? Note: an ordinary oxygen level is between 17 and 21%
Which kind of pollutant is involved and how toxic is it?
What's the OEL, or permissible concentration amount of the pollutant?

After choosing the equipment family (filtering or powered respirator, self-contained breathing apparatus, emergency escape breathing devices or self-rescuers), you have to determine the minimum required Protection Factor (PF).

Minimum required PF = Energy contaminant beyond your facepiece / Permissible power contaminant inside facepiece, or OEL.

To ensure sufficient protection, the Nominal Protection Factor (NPF) along with the Assigned Protection Factor (APF) have to be in excess of the minimum required Protection Factor (PF).

For instance: when selecting a filtering respirator (gas mask), you'll want to find the most appropriate equipment using the protection levels shown inside the table and judge the right filter (type and sophistication)

After choosing the equipment family (filtering or powered respirator, self-contained breathing apparatus, emergency escape breathing devices or self-rescuers), you need to determine the minimum required Protection Factor (PF).

Minimum required PF = Power contaminant away from facepiece / Permissible concentration of contaminant inside facepiece, or OEL.

To be sure sufficient protection, the Nominal Protection Factor (NPF) and the Assigned Protection Factor (APF) should be higher than the minimum required Protection Factor (PF).

By way of example: when picking self-contained breathing apparatus, you'll want to choose the best suited equipment based on the protection levels shown from the table and pick the correct filter (type and sophistication).

Equipment suitable for the job situation
Once you've determined the appropriate category of respiratory protective clothing, you'll need to be capable of adapt the device towards the work situation. It is important to involve future users from the selection process since they're individuals who are best capable of describe their activity.

The subsequent parameters should be looked at:

Physical characteristics with the wearer (beard, face scars, etc.) which will determine the size and design of protection (helmet, hood, facepiece, etc.)
Whether the person wears contacts or glasses, because there are special devices for attaching glasses
Work patterns: air line breathing systems are better suited to more serious work; powered respirators can be used when the flow is sufficient to cancel out the negative pressure
The length of time in which the gear will probably be worn: it is far better to choose powered filtering respirators if you need to put them on in excess of One hour
Visibility requirements: with regards to the needs, we might recommend panoramic facepieces for improved visibility, single-use visors or hoods using a replaceable visor offering eye protection in case of projections
Communication requirements: you will find models with phonic membranes and voice amplifiers enabling communication in harsh conditions for example confined spaces
Other personal protective gear and accessories to be used: some kinds of equipment have integrated head, eye, ear and respiratory tract protection - they are helpful for welding operations, by way of example.
Decontamination requirements applicable to respiratory protective clothing
Thermal constraints
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Pub: 06 Nov 2023 15:00 UTC
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