PPE and occupational safety, HACCP and food safety

Home / Articles / What for wearing a respirator if it does not fitted well to your face

You may spend a lot of money buying one of the best respirator in the market but if will not protect you from harmful polluted air if you do not fit it well onto your face.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon, during my visits to factory, to find that not everyone using respirator has the face piece fitted well and many of them did not go through the fitting procedure to ensure proper fitting.  I have in some occasions even seeing people wearing respirator upside down.  I asked him “Why are you wearing your respiratory this way?” He told me, “This way I feel more comfortable…..”  You may laugh, but I don’t because it is a serious mistake to wear respirator like that and the result could be fatal in a critical environment.

Remember, you must be trained to do positive and negative test when you are donning a respirator the first time onto your face.  These qualitative tests will ensure that there is no leakage from the sides of the respirator face piece. You must do these tests whenever you wear a respirator and before you entering the contaminated area.

Why fit test is important? Because you want the air you are breathing in to pass through the air-purifying filters or cartridge that will remove the harmful pollutants.  You do not want un-filtered polluted air to leak into your respirator face piece.  If after fit test, you can not get a air-tight fitting, you should try some other models of respirator or another size. Respirator face piece does come in different sizes, S, M or L although the medium size can fit well to the majority of the population.

Respirator face piece fit test is critical important for SCBA donning and in fact for wearing any respirator before entering into critical environment.  Safety Supervisor must make sure that every one using respirator especially the ERT (Emergency Response Team) members are well trained.  Negative and positive fit test of respirator face piece can be done you self without help from some one else, if you know how to do it.

Is fit testing difficult? Absolutely NOT and on the contrary, it is quite simple.

One of my friend’s sons has started working in a car body repairing workshop recently.  His works include metal cutting, cleaning, welding and even paint spraying.   He came to see me for safety advice because he is not receiving safety training in his work. He felt disappointed after talking to me because he was not given the basic safety gear for his works I told him that he has the right to ask for them and if the employer does not provide him with all the safety equipment and training he needs, don’t work for him.

Will you do the same if you were him?  If you walk into the workshops and factories in your town, do you see these things around?

Remember, earning a living does not means checking in your health or life for it and there is existing laws protecting you.

Related posts:

  1. Correct use of facemask or respirator for influenza prevention
  2. AOSafety EZDrop Half Face Respirator
  3. AOSafety QuickFit full face respirator
  4. Wearing gloves to serve food?
  5. AOSafety EZDrop 8200SC Quarter Face Respirator

Leave a Reply

E-mail It