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A respirator is an important piece of personal protective equipment that may be worn for many different reasons. It is used when an employee must work in an atmosphere that does not have adequate oxygen. It may be required to protect yourself from other respiratory hazards such as dust, airborne contaminants, noxious fumes, etc. Many of the chemicals that we use require the use of a respirator. Product labels and material safety data sheets (MSDS) tell us how to use chemicals safely and how to protect ourselves from any hazardous properties they have.
Prior to use, one must determine which type of respirator should be worn. If you have any doubt ask your supervisor. All employees must be trained so that they know how to put on a respirator properly, the method of testing the face piece to assure the face seal is correct, the capabilities and limitations of the respirator, and the care of respirator protective equipment.
Respirators function by filtering or purifying contaminated air, or by supplying air from an outside source. You will frequently see a cartridge-type respirator in use, especially in many painting operations. This kind of respirator is designed for short term exposure. It is approved for low concentrations of contaminants. You must remember that this type does not generate oxygen. Should you have need for one or have any question about one ask your supervise
It is important that chemical cartridges and filters be replaced as necessary to provide complete protection. OSHA requires that employees who must use respiratory protective equipment approved for use in atmospheres immediately dangerous to life, shall be thoroughly trained in the use of the equipment. Employees required to use other types of respiratory protective equipment shall be instructed in the use and limitations of such equipment. Respirators and related equipment shall be inspected regularly, maintained in good condition, and cleaned and disinfected before being reissued. If the equipment is damaged in any way, don't use it.
Your good health and your life are dependent on the air you breathe. Use a respirator when needed.
NEVER WORK IN A HIGH CONCENTRATION OF TOXIC VAPOR WITH A CARTRIDGE-TYPE RESPIRATOR!
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