MSA (Aust.) Pty. Limited offers a range of air purifying respirators designed for effective respiratory protection in industrial environments.
The fundamental goal of any respiratory protection program is to control occupational diseases caused by breathing air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smoke, sprays, or vapours.
The basic defence against these contaminants is to simply keep them out of the immediate environment of the workers by implementing engineering and/or administrative controls.
When contaminants continue to be a hazard for workers, it is important to equip them with appropriate respiratory protection.
MSA helps companies take a comprehensive approach to sound respiratory protection practices, especially in understanding the need for respirators, their working and their limitations.
AS/NZS 1715/1716 & OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and NIOSH (the National Institute of Safety and Health) regulations define all the specific requirements that must be followed, including the capabilities of appropriate respiratory protection devices such as air purifying respirators.
A Written Respiratory Protection Programme is covered in seven steps:
The first step in a respiratory protection program is to establish written standard operating procedures governing the selection and use of respirators, which will help employers, employees, and compliance officers gauge the adequacy of a given program. Regular inspection and evaluation of the program will ensure its continued effectiveness.
Proper assessment of specific hazard(s) is the first important step to protection. This requires a thorough knowledge of processes, equipment, raw materials, end products, and by-products that can create an exposure hazard.
Hazard control should start at the process, equipment, and plant design levels where contaminants can be controlled effectively at the outset. Attention should be given to the use of effective engineering controls to eliminate and/or reduce exposures to respiratory hazards.
Selection of air purifying respirators is based on various factors such as the level of respiratory protection required and right size of respirator to fit the face and facial contours. Respiratory protective devices vary in design, application, and protective capability, requiring the user to assess the inhalation hazard and understand the specific use limitations of available equipment to ensure proper selection.
Users must be properly instructed in its selection, use, and maintenance to ensure proper use of any respiratory protection device.
Proper inspection, maintenance, and repair of respiratory protective equipment are mandatory to ensure success of any respiratory protection program. It is important to maintain the equipment in a condition that provides the same effectiveness as it had when it was first manufactured.
According to OSHA, ‘using a respirator may place a physiological burden on employees that varies with the type of respirator worn, the job and workplace conditions in which the respirator is used, and the medical status of the employee’.
Employers must determine an employee’s ability to use a respirator in any specific operation. Workers should never be assigned to any operation requiring respiratory protection until a physician has determined that they are capable - physically and psychologically - to perform the work using the respiratory protective equipment.