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What respirator should I be using?

Depending on your work tasks and environment you may require anything from a disposable respirator to self contained breathing apparatus.


As a starting point, a practical action is to work with your team to identify and review airborne contaminants that are generated in the workplace, e.g. contaminants generated from doing the job or by the equipment/machinery within the workplace. Document these noting the task and what is being produced at the time. Makes notes on worker exposure to these hazards e.g. all day, a few hours a week, only during shut down etc...


Once you have some understanding of the likely airborne contaminants you can have a targeted conversation with an industrial hygienist who is trained in hazard identification, measurement, risk assessment and control options. They will often recommend visiting your site and conducting some air monitoring. They can then compare measurements to published Workplace Exposure Standards, https://www.worksafe.govt.nz/topic-and-industry/monitoring/exposure-standards-and-biological-exposure-indices/


Once the analysis has been completed the Industrial Hygienist or a Respirator Safety Specialist can help you select the correct respiratory protection. If it is decided respirators are required you should implement a respiratory protection programme. This will help with respiratory protection awareness and safe practices going forward. Some elements of such a programme is respirator training, respirator fit testing, lung function testing and annual programme review.


For more information on this please feel free to contact us at Health Spectrum Ltd.

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