This Code of Safe Practice is designed to act as a guide in the use, selection and care of respiratory protective equipment. All respiratory protective equipment is intended to be used to reduce employees’ potential exposure to airborne dusts, gases, vapors, mists and fumes.
- Before using any respiratory protective equipment, make sure you have received training from an authorized trainer in the selection, use, cleaning and maintenance of the respiratory equipment.
- Respirator training and certification is specific for each different make and model of respirator. Make sure you receive additional training before using any respirator for which you have not been trained and fit tested.
- Prior to the issuance and use of a respirator and at least annually thereafter, make sure you are given a qualitative fit test to insure that a proper fit has been achieved.
- If you have a diagnosed respiratory disease or ailment (i.e. asthma, emphysema, cardio-pulmonary disease, chemical sensitivity, respiratory allergies, etc.) or feel that you can not wear a respirator because of some other physical or medical limitation, notify your supervisor so you can be given special consideration.
- Those employees who hold a current training certificate can obtain respiratory equipment through their foreman.
- Your supervisor will determine what type of respiratory protection is required. This determination will be based on the nature and level of the airborne contaminant(s) in the employee’s work area.
- Always request assistance from a safety consultant whenever you are not sure if your respiratory protection is appropriate for the work you are doing.
- Never use dual cartridge respirators or paper masks (dust, paint fumes or high efficiency particulate air filters) to enter an oxygen-deficient or suspected oxygen- deficient atmosphere.
- Always use respiratory protection when required by law or when deemed necessary by your supervisor..
- Always make sure to obtain a gas-tight seal between your facial skin and the respirator. This means that employees who have a beard, mustache or are not clean-shaven may not be issued or wear a respirator.
- Always perform a negative and positive pressure test before each use of your respirator.
- Always inspect your respirator for defects before each use. Never wear a faulty respirator under any circumstance.
- If you smell or taste the airborne contaminant that the respirator is designed to remove, leave the work area, re-inspect the respirator and conduct another positive and negative test. If there is a gas-tight seal and the smell/taste returns, install new cartridge filters.
- If breathing through the respirator becomes difficult, the filter cartridges or pre-filters may need to be replaced. Do not continue to use respirator until cartridge is replaced.
- Routinely clean your respirator in accordance with the manufacturer’s instruction.
- Always store respirators in airtight bags when not in use.