Respirators are needed whenever your work environment does not provide a clean air source. There are a wide variety of respirators, but is your current respirator NIOSH approved?
WHAT IS NIOSH?
NIOSH stands for National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. According to OSHA, “Required respirators must be NIOSH-approved and medical evaluation and training must be provided before use.”
Emergent Safety provides fit testing for clients, to make sure their respirators are protecting them to the fullest extent. When using a respirator, your face must be clean shaven, to provide a full seal. Emergent Safety Specialists are trained in all current fit testing standards.
TYPES OF RESPIRATORS
Most single strap respirators, are not NIOSH approved and should not be used in the workplace. NIOSH approved respirators should be worn when working around respiratory hazards. Single strap respirators are used for allergies.
N95 approved Face pieces are generally disposable, and can filter out dusts, mists but are not approved for use against gas or vapor. Where gas or vapor is present, a half or full face respirator is required to stay compliant.
A full face respirator is similar to a half mask respirator, but provides a shield to protect the eyes against irritants as well. The full face mask also has corresponding cartridges that must match the type of hazard that a worker is being exposed to.
A PAPR pulls air through a hood to purify contaiminated air. This application can be used when contaminant levels are too high to use with a normal respirator. A PAPR can also be used with an unshaven face.
A SCBA is a respirator that uses a tank filled with Oxygen. This is used in situations that are an immediate hazard and cannot be entered without a direct suppy of oxygen.