Full mask respirators are personal protective equipment (PPE gear) designed to protect you from inhaling hazardous fumes, vapors, and gasses in the course of your work. They prevent you from breathing harmful particles while ensuring you have fresh air to breathe.
Breathing hazardous airborne particles can lead to many respiratory diseases, including throat infection, lung infection, or some types of cancers. Therefore, full mask respirators play a major role in protecting your health. They cover your face from above the eyes way down to below the chin, to provide respiratory protection.
At Premium Safety, we have all the personal protective equipment you need for the safety of your workers and employees. We are always committed to offering quality products and excellent customer service.
Read on to learn more about full-face respirators.
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Respirators generally fall into two categories: air-purifying and supplied-air respirators.
1. Air-Purifying Respirators (APRs)
Air-purifying respirators remove hazardous or harmful contaminants from the air using filters or cartridges. As such, you should use your air-purifying respirator depending on the contaminants you're exposed to. Whereas cartridges protect against vapors and gas, filters protect you from particulates. To know the exact contaminants the respirator protects you from, check the color code on the canister or cartridge. You should change the cartridges/filters regularly to ensure effective protection.
Here are some of the environments or situations where air-purifying respirators are appropriate for use:
Places where contaminant concentration and identity are unknown
Environments whose oxygen concentration is 19.5% or less
Monitored work environments
Environments where respirator has been approved to protect wearers against particular contaminant and concentration level after successful accomplishments of a fit-test
2. Supplied-Air Respirators (SARs)
Supplied-air respirators can be Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), where the user carries the air tank, or Air Line Respirators, where the user receives the air from an air supply that is some distance away. An Air Line Respirator typically has a face piece which can be a helmet, mask, hood, or partial mask connected by an air supply hoseto an air supply that is highly protected from the contaminated atmosphere.
Below are some of the situations where supplied-air respirators are used:
Enclosed areas with highly contaminated or poor air quality
Areas with toxic gasses
Atmospheres with insufficient oxygen. The oxygen could have been deliberately replaced with a different gas or chemically used up.
Environments with too hot or cold air temperature
Highly toxic environments such as hazardous waste sites
The annual fit test conducted in a workplace helps determine the make, model, and size of the respirator an employee should use. Once the employees are successfully fitted with a respirator, they continue wearing one with the same parameters until the next fit test.
The chosen model depends on facial structure, size, and comfort. Returning employees continue wearing the same full mask respirator as in previous years unless it becomes compromised or does not fit properly anymore.
As mentioned above, cartridge selections, if you use air-purifying respirators, depend on your protection needs. But you should change them when you feel a higher resistance in breathing or after using them for about eight hours.
Full mask respirators require inspections before you wear them. You need to check for cracks, deformations, brittle or old valves, dents, elasticity loss on the straps, or any areas that appear compromised. If you are using a supply air respirator, be sure to inspect everything, including the air supply hose, the storage tank, or the remote air source. However, should you find any problem with your respirator, do not attempt to repair it. Instead, you should bring it to the supervisor for repair or replacement.
The respirators should be stored in a plastic bag, away from sunlight and extreme temperatures and also away from objects that may deform or crush them. They should also not be shared.
Cleaning the respirator is necessary to maintain it in a sanitary condition. You can use alcohol wipes or a warm, mild soapy solution. Ensure you start by cleaning the inside of the mask first, then the outside, to avoid contaminating its interior.
Having the right type of full face mask and ensuring that it fits your entire face well can draw the line between life and death in an environment with poisonous vapors, dust, gasses, or other potential hazards. At Premier Safety, we are the leading PPE supplier ensuring you get quality respiratory protection equipment for any application. We understand the ins and outs of selecting the right respirator; thus, you can rest assured of finding equipment that offers the appropriate level of protection for your workforce needs.Shop your personal protective equipment with us today.