So, you have been successfully fitted into your respirator and you are back to work with confidence. You can inspect, fit and maintain your respirator safely. Is that it for another year? No!
It is not uncommon to see team members a year later for their annual fit test to discover they cannot recall how to inspect, fit, perform a user seal check and remove their respirator safely. When asked about cleaning practices for their reusable respirators we receive a range of replies. When do you change your filters/cartridges? This question also receives a range of replies indicating some filters are being discarded before they need to be and others are used well beyond the recommended service life as per AS/NZS1715.
So what can be done to minimise this practice? I recommend conducting refresher toolbox talks throughout the year covering inspection, correct fitting techniques and care and maintenance. For reusable respirators you can ask the manufacturer for recommended care and maintenance practices and/or refer to the user instructions. Depending on your airborne hazard you may need a disinfectant to clean your respirator not just soap and water or a detergent wet wipe.
Make sure you know what spare parts are available for your reusable respirator and what 'good' & 'bad' looks like so you know when to replace parts.
Have a designated area for cleaning your respirators and storing spare parts.
If you wish to implement a respirator toolbox please email us to discuss your needs.