Respiratory protection is a form of personal protection equipment used to protect workers from inhaling dangerous substances at the workplace. Respiratory protection equipment is mainly used when you cannot gain adequate control of the exposure by any other method. As a result, this equipment will be utilized. The hierarchy of protection at the workplace is Elimination, Substitution, Engineering Controls, Administrative Controls, and PPE.
From this, you can tell that the workers are first required to eliminate the source of danger at the site. RPE should only be adopted when all other necessary control measures have been considered. Personal protective equipment is considered a last resort because it only protects an individual and not the entire work. RPE can also be prone to hazards like incorrectly wearing the equipment or wearing the wrong RPE for performing the job. This will give them a false sense of security when there is no security.
As we mentioned, RPE should be adopted as the last resort for preventive and protective measures. This is stated in the EU legislation on OSH. Directive 89/656/EEC  states that personal protective equipment should only be used when the risks cannot be avoided or controlled technically of collective protection, methods of procedures of work organizations. Some other obligations for the employer are as follows:
- Provide Respiratory protective equipment to workers free of cost.
- Ensure to select proper RPE suitable for the type of hazard.
- Determining the appropriate conditions for using the respiratory protection equipment.
- Organizing training
- The respiratory protection equipment must always be cleaned and maintained correctly.
It is necessary to ensure that all of the personal protective equipment provided to the workers must be compliant with EU regulations. These regulations may include provisions for the manufacturing, design, and marketing of PPE. The EU regulations apply to all PPE in the market and set the rules for all manufacturers.
Basic Rules of RPE Use
RPE should be considered if all else fails for forestalling or potentially controlling too dangerous substances in the air. RPE ought to just be utilized after any remaining practicable control measures have been taken. Dispensing with or lessening takes a chance at the source. Additionally, designing controls is more viable because RPE safeguards individual laborers and tends to fail, like wearing some unacceptable RPE for the gig. Besides, laborers wearing RPE might get a misguided feeling that all is well and good while utilizing it.
RPE can generally be used in the following situations:
- When there is still some amount of respiratory risk even after reasonable control measures have been taken.
- A present moment or inconsistent exposure when different controls at the source are not practicable,
- While other control measures (impermanent measures) are introduced or kept up with/fixed,
- It is essential to give RPE a protected exit from an area where they might deliver hazardous substances out of nowhere in an emergency. In case of a control framework disappointment,
- Emergency work or impermanent failure of controls where a different method for controls is not practicable,
- Emergency rescue via prepared staff is essential.
Types of RPE Available
The type of respiratory protection equipment that we have available includes:
- Face masks.
- Mask dispensers, disposable respirators, respirator filters, powered respirators, and reusable respirator accessories.
- Power respirator filters.
- Face fit testing kits, powered and airline respirators, masks, reusable respirator filters, and respirator accessories.
- You can get these at the most affordable prices.