Back-To-Basics: Respirator Safety

Back-To-Basics: Respirator Safety

Sometimes going back-to-basics can be important, especially when it comes to safety. It can be easy to misuse personal protective equipment (PPE) after a while. One important PPE item that is most commonly misused is a respirator.

There are harsh Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) and particles in repair facilities. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Paint
  • Body filler
  • Sanding dust
  • Airborne metal shavings
  • Cleaning solutions

In order to make sure that your respirator will protect you against these elements, put it in a bag or a container when you are not wearing it. By leaving it in the open air, it is constantly drawing in particles and items listed above. This shortens the life of the respirator when it is not being used. Therefore, you would need to change out respirators/cartridges more often. The longer a respirator is exposed to the surrounding environment, the less it aids in keeping harsh substances out of your body.

Along with sealing your respirator when you are not using it, it is also crucial to clean it. The inside and the outside of the respirator should be wiped clean before and after use. A respirator can collect particles on the inside of the mask where your face is in contact with it.

These two simple actions that are often forgotten, and are simple ways to ensure proper respiratory safety in the workplace.