1. There are so many types of three and respirators to choose from, how do I pick the right one?
This is an excellent question because using the wrong type of protection can be worse than no protection at all. The first step you should take is to consult a qualified industrial hygienist, as this person is trained to determine the best respirator for use in your specific environment. This will often require that the industrial hygienist takes measurements on-site to determine both the type of hazard as well as the degree of contaminants present in the atmosphere. If you have already made your purchase the hygiene this will be able to inform you if you made the right choice.
2. How do I implement a proper respiratory protection program?
The first step you must take is to evaluate the hazards present in the workplace which can be most effectively carried out by an industrial hygienist as mentioned above. Even though it will involve a higher cost than attempting to do it yourself, in the long run you will save money as you’ll be making the right purchase from the beginning. There are so many 3M respirators available that it is easy to make a mistake and choose the wrong unit.
The next step is to create a written program that details the selection of respirators, medical testing of the employees, their training, and proper maintenance for the units. You also have to conduct regular inspections to be able to evaluate the effectiveness of your program. The latter is highly dependent upon the degree of comfort the respirator unit provides, but luckily all 3M respirators are designed with a maximum comfort in mind as the most effective respirator is the one that is actually used.
3. Why do I need a written respiratory protection program?
An effective respiratory program involves much more than just choosing and wearing the right respirator. If your workers do not know how to properly use the respirators or if they are not properly maintained then it is the equivalent of not having of respiratory protection program at all. With written instructions on how to carry out effective maintenance your employees will be able to carry up to repairs when needed as well as to replace deteriorate its units before they become ineffective completely.
There also situations in which different 3M respirators must be used for changing work conditions, by using written instructions your employees will always be aware of which is the right respirator to use in the various circumstances. This way you will be guaranteeing their protection and we’ll be able to avoid any workplace disasters. For example, a regular APR unit can be used in welding whereas supplied air respirators (SAR) will be required for more hazardous conditions.
You should consider having trained personnel in charge of the respiratory protection program as they will be aware of all the health and safety regulations that need to be implemented to protect your employees from any workplace accidents or long-term consequences. By using the right 3M respirators and implementing an adequate program you will be able to rest easy that your employees are fully protected from the hazards of their workplace.