Subscribe to our weekly newsletters
Subscribe to newsletter

 

Editor's Note: 3M provide:-

Reusable respiratorReusable respirator
Respirator maskRespirator mask
3m respirator3m respirator
Asbestos maskAsbestos mask

Request Information

Home
Include Article
Advertise
 

Links
Request Information
Terms of use
Contact

 

Request Facilities / Interiors product information

Request Architectural product information External

Request Architectural product information Internal

Request Mechanical HVAC product information

Request Electrical product information

 

3M Getting The Best Out Of Reusable Respirators 

Aicha Kabil, Occupational Health & Environmental Safety Division, 3M United Kingdom plc

Reusable half-face and full-face respirators are a proven and effective means of ensuring that workers in a variety of environments receive a clean, safe air supply.

Modern products are highly versatile and can be fitted with a variety of filters which reduce the wearer’s exposure to gases, vapours and particulates, depending on the filter used.

However, respirators will only offer the wearer effective protection, with product working life maximised, if pre-use and post-use checks, care and maintenance, and replacement of consumable parts are carried out at the right times and in the correct manner. Appropriate storage for any periods when products are not in use is also crucial.

Unlike single-use respirators, which can usually be assumed to be intact and ready for use on removal from their packaging, a series of checks should be made by the user before they wear a previously used reusable respirator.

The face piece should be checked for cracks, tears and dirt, while the inhalation valve may also harbour cracks and tears. While washing may be adequate to remove dirt, it goes without saying that any respirator which has any cracks or tears is likely to offer significantly reduced protection, potentially exposing the wearer to hazardous levels of gas or particulates, and should not be used.

The next step is to check that the head straps are intact and have elasticity. Respirators whose straps have lost their elasticity are unlikely to offer a snug enough fit around the user’s face, potentially leaving gaps through which harmful gases and particulates can pass.

The user should also check that all gaskets are present and then remove the exhalation valve cover to examine the exhalation valve and seat for dirt, cracking or tearing. Once again, any product displaying either cracks or tears should not be used. For both half-face and full-face masks, a variety of spares are available and employers would be well advised to maintain a stock of spares for each product type used on site to allow any repairs to be undertaken immediately thus avoiding costly employee downtime. The lifetime of lenses can also be prolonged through the use of peel-off lens covers.

Once the user has satisfied himself or herself on all these points, and the correct filters – either gas or particulate – are attached, the product can safely be worn.

One issue which can significantly impact on the protection offered by reusable respirators is what happens to them when they are removed mid-shift, for example for lunch or a comfort break, and when the user returns and put them on again. Unfortunately, it is not unheard of for the user to remove the product while still in the hazardous area. This is dangerous enough in itself but the problem is exacerbated if the respirator is then left in the area where harmful contamination can settle on the interior of the product, meaning the next time it is worn, the user is breathing potentially highly toxic air. Employees should be instructed, therefore, to always don the respirator before entering the affected area and not to remove it until they are well clear.

After use, reusable respirators should be cleaned and, if required, disinfected. The user instructions with the product will contain the cleaning and disinfection requirements. Masks are generally cleaned with a specialist, disposable cleaning wipe or by immersion in a cleaning solution. A soft brush can be used if scrubbing is required. After washing, the product should be rinsed in fresh, warm water and air dried in a non-contaminated atmosphere. Respirators are also sometimes cleaned in a washer.

Once dry, masks should be stored away from contaminants in a clean area, with full face masks stored face-up to reduce the risk of scratches to the lens. Many products also come with their own individual carry cases to afford further protection when not in use.

Given variations in usage levels and also in the quantity of gas and particulates being filtered, it is difficult to be prescriptive about the intervals at which the filters should be changed, although a thorough risk assessment will give some indication. As a rule, particulate filters can be used until the user notices they are becoming harder to breathe through, while gas and vapour filters should be replaced before they become saturated, or as a last resort, when the user notices a smell or taste of gas, which indicates that the carbon contained within the filter is saturated. For this reason gas and vapour filters should be used only to guard against gases and vapours with good warning properties.

When it comes to record-keeping, all reusable respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is subject to the maintenance requirements of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health regulations (COSHH). Records of monthly maintenance and testing must be kept for at least five years and must be able to be produced on demand for a Health & Safety Executive (HSE) inspection. Record cards are available from a number of sources including respirator manufacturers. A monthly check should be made of the face seal, nose cup, straps, valves and gaskets, and visor, with details noted on the record card.

Maintaining good practice in the area of record-keeping, as well as adopting a strict regime of pre and post-use checking, cleaning, maintenance and storage, will help to ensure that employees remain safe and that legal requirements are satisfied.

Email: ohesuk@mmm.com


Socomec Power supply range Power transfer switch Electrical switchgear News 240510

Siemens Circuit protection Lighting automation Light switch Emergency lights News 240510

Mitsubishi Energy efficient heating Renewable heat sources Heat pumps News 240510

Laidlaw Handrails and balustrades Stainless steel ironmongery Stair handrails News 240510

Terrys Fabrics Pvc curtains Curtain fabrics Curtain drapery Curtain styles News 240510

Westwood Security shutters Fire resistant shutters Fire roller shutters News 240510

Tile Depot Tile retailer Stone tiles Flooring tiles Wall tiles News 240510

Socomec Uninterruptible power supplies Switchgear manufacturers Electrical power quality News 250510

Cembrit Roof slate Roof cladding Sustainable roofing Natural slates News 250510

Ardex Tile adhesive Flexible tile grout Waterproof tile adhesive News 250510

Harlequin Dance floors Sprung dance floor Dance studio flooring News 250510

John Newton Damp proof membrane Newlath 2000 Damp proofing solutions News 250510

Westwood Security shutters Roller shutters Fire shutters Electric shutters News 250510

Turnstyle Leather strap handles Leather handles Square strap handles News 250510

FDB Electrical Earth monitor Earth monitoring technology Earth leaking device News 250510

HMG Paints Paint manufacturers Paint suppliers Powder coatings Paint coatings News 250510

Bilco Roof hatches Roof access hatches Metal access doors News 260510

Ardex Flooring products Floor levelling compound Floor smoothing compound News 260510

Flowcrete Floor screed Floor levelling Resin floor Hospital flooring News 260510

Leaderflush Doorset manufacturer Timber doors Internal doors External doors News 260510

Safety letterbox Secure mailing systems Lockable mail boxes News 260510

Dulux weathershield woodstain Wood stain Dulux trade paint News 260510

Hevar Trade exhibition Trade show exhibition Trade fair exhibition News 260510

Simpson Strong ties Anchor bolts Wall ties Timber connectors News 260510

Saint Gobain Sustainable energy Sustainable building materials Zero carbon home News 260510

Mumford and Wood Energy efficient windows Conservation windows Conservation area windows News 260510

Socomec Switchgear manufacturers Uninterruptible power supplies Data center power News 270510

Schueco Commercial windows A rated windows Aluminium casement windows News 270510

Schneider Home networking Energy management specialists Electrical switchgear manufacturers News 270510

Komfort Glazed partitions Office partitions Partitioning products Polar partitioning News 270510

Elliott Modular building systems Portable accommodation Innovative building News 270510

Action Storage equipment Industrial storage equipment Changing room lockers News 270510

Cablofil Steel wire trays Cable management systems Cable trays News 280510

Tarkett Safety floors Indoor sports flooring Wood flooring systems News 280510

Sanyo Air conditioning systems Fan coil units Heat pumps News 280510

Knuaf Wall insulation Knauf insulation Insulation products Thermal insulation News 280510

Komfort Glazed partitions Office partitions Glass walls Glass partitioning News 28.05.10

Atlantic Condensing boilers Central heating boilers Water heat exchangers News 280510

Honeywell High efficiency boilers Energy efficient heating Boilers suppliers News 280510

Forbo Carpet tiles Office floor Floor system Flooring services News 280510

Halers Lighting Led lighting High power led Evo led lighting News 280510

Nuaire Car park ventilation Ventilation products Carpark smoke ventilation News 280510

Riegens Led lights Led bollards Bollard lights Amenity lighting News 010610

Vent Axia Heat pumps Source heat pumps Renewable energy heating News 010610

Knauf Mineral wool insulation Knauf insulation Earthwool insulation News 010610

Icel Electrical instrumentation Panel manufacturers Power generation Mechanical manufacturer News 010610

Danfoss drives Danfoss inverters Motor controls Power electronics News 010610

AET Underfloor systems Commercial air conditioning Underfloor air conditioning News 020610

Furse Power surge protection Lightning protection system Earthing protection News 020610

Emergi Lite Emergency lighting Security lights Led signs Light sensor News 020610

Levolux Solar shading systems Ventilation louvres Solar shading louvres News 020610

SSQ Wall tiles Natural stone flooring Natural stone tiles News 020610

Armacell Armaflex pipe Armaflex insulation Duct insulation Pipework insulation News 020610

Terrys Fabrics Ready made curtains Soft furnishings Curtain fabric suppliers News 020610

Ideal Standard Bathroom manufacturer Bathroom sanitary ware Ideal standard bathroom News 020610

Panel Systems External cladding Cladding panels Wall cladding Soffit manufacturers News 020610

Armstrong Variable speed pumps Variable speed drives Hvac equipment News 030610

Weatherite Hot water heaters Hot water systems Water storage systems News 030610

Ancon Stainless steel fabrication Tunnel linings Tunnel support systems News 030610

Emergi Lite Led emergency lighting Emergency exit signs Emergency lighting News 030610

3M Intumescent coatings Fire protection products Intumescent protective coatings News 030610

Marcrist Tile blade Diamond cutting blade Ceramic tile blade News 030610

Henkel Adhesive tape Wall tape Unibond adhesive Unibond tape News 030610

Icopal Monarflex geomembranes Barrier membrane Containment membrane Construction membranes News 030610

Kemper Flat roof waterproofing Metal roof repairs Kemperol waterproofing News 030610

Sika Sarnafil Roof membrane Single ply roofing systems Roofing systems News 030610

Marley Eternit Wall cladding Fibre cement cladding Wall cladding systems News 030610

Ellis Furniture Bathroom furniture Bathroom manufacturer Bedroom manufacturer Kitchen manufacturer News 030610

Osram Lighting manufacturers Energy efficient lighting Commercial led lighting News 040610

Dimplex Heat pumps Energy efficient heating Renewable energy technology News 040610

Dorma Door closers Door floor springs Electromagnetic door closer News 040610

SPC Radiant heating Heating coils Heating panels Cooling panels News 040610

Terrys Fabrics Curtain poles Curtain fabric readymade curtains Pvc curtains News 040610

Fab and Fix Steel window handles Door window hardware Door hardware News 040610

Recticel Insulation board Floor insulation Wall insulation Insulation products News 040610

Deva Kitchen taps Bathroom taps Designer taps Kitchen brassware News 040610

Glidevale Natural ventilation systems Roof ventilation systems Tubular rooflights News 040610

Passivent Ventilation louvres School ventilation Natural ventilation Passive cooling News 040610

Becosolar Solar pv panels Solar panels Thermal solar panels News 040610

Modular Lighting Ceiling Lighting fixtures Wall lighting Modern lighting News 040610

Arundel Jones Associates Ltd Registered in England and Wales No. 07334149
Hill Farm, Linton Hill, Maidstone, Kent ME 17 4AL
Tel : 01622 745333 email
copyright all rights reserved

News Categories : Reusable respirator
Respirator mask 3m respirator
Asbestos mask