Posts Tagged ‘respirators’

The Right Questions to Ask About Respirator Safety in the Workplace

April 23, 2015

The Right Questions to Ask About Respirator Safety in the Workplace

Clean air can easily be taken for granted, and when working in areas with hazardous particles or gasses, using the proper respirator to assist with breathing is literally a life or death matter. Choosing a respirator can be a complicated process especially if you aren’t armed with the proper information about the hazards you are trying to protect against.

Before trying to select a respirator for the job at hand, be sure you have identified the respiratory hazard, evaluated the hazard thoroughly, and have considered whether engineering or substitution controls are possible.

Ask the following questions about your workplace to get the selection process started.

  • What activities will the worker be doing while wearing the respirator (e.g., strenuous work)?
  • What are the characteristics of the operation or the process (e.g., hot temperature, confined space)?
  • Is it to be used in firefighting or emergencies?
  • How long will the worker need to wear the respirator?
  • Does the selected respirator fit the worker properly?
  • Where is the nearest safe area that has clean air?
  • Is it to be used in oxygen-deficient atmospheres (less than 18% oxygen in air; some jurisdictions say below 19.5%)?
  • What is the nature of the hazard (chemical properties, concentration in the air, warning properties)?
  • Is there more than one contaminant (i.e. a mixture or more than one chemical is present)?
  • What are the health effects of the airborne contaminant (carcinogenic, potentially lethal, irritating to eyes, absorbed through the skin)?
  • Is the airborne contaminant a gas, vapor or particulate (mist, dust or fume)?
  • Are the airborne levels below or above the exposure limit, or are they above levels that could be immediately dangerous to life or health?

Refer to the SDS for guidance on requirements of particular respiratory hazards around your facility if more hazard information is needed. When you are ready to begin making your respirator decision visit for additional help and information on NIOSH approved respirators.

Closed for Repairs

July 6, 2011

Many people like to take vacations when the kids are off & enjoy the nice weather. This gives businesses an opportunity to shut down to make necessary repairs on equipment or to clean machinery. Don’t forget even with only a skeleton crew, it’s still vital keep everyone safe.


Equipment checklist for cleaning machinery:
• Lock down equipment – Locks, Hasps, Tags
PPE Equipment – gloves, eye protection, facemask (if welding), respirators
• Warning Signs – Lockout Equipment, Caution Wet Floor
• Safety cleanup after – spill control

There is also clean up after servicing the machines. Be sure to throw away dirty towels, gloves, & properly dispose of any Hazardous Material. Spill control should be part of every clean up. Did you know the #1 injury according to the National Safety Council is falls? In fact, during your lifetime the odd of mortality by falling is 1 in 171. Therefore, prepare ahead of time to avoid slips & falls by having the materials you need. It will save you time and keep everyone safe.

By: Amy

How to Fit an N95 Respirator Mask properly

August 30, 2010

Moldex 2360P100 Particulate Respirator

A properly selected respirator is essential to protect your health. It will not protect against fumes, gases or vapors. It must be worn in well ventilated areas containing sufficient oxygen to support life. If the user has any illnesses or disorders, consult a licensed medical doctor to determine suitability of use.

There are many brands and options to choose from—disposable or reusable.  The Disposable are available with or without an exhalation valve. The exhalation valve allows easier breathing for long-term wear.

Before using any N95 respirator, consult an Occupational Safety Professional or Industrial Hygienist to determine its suitability for your intended use. Always, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for fitting the respirator to the face.

3M Particulate Respirator 8511, N95

Here are some N95 Mask Fitting Instructions:

  1. Hold the respirator in hand with the nosepiece at your fingertips, allowing the headband to hang freely below your hand.
  2. Press the respirator firmly against your face with the nosepiece on the bridge of your nose.
  3. Stretch and position the top band high on the back of your head. Stretch the bottom band over the head and position below your ears.
  4. Using both hands, mold the metal nosepiece to the shape of your nose.
  5. To test fit, cup both hands over the respirator and exhale vigorously. If air flows around your nose, tighten the nosepiece; if air leaks around the edges, reposition the straps for a better fit.
  6. Remember, careful observance of these fitting instructions is an important step in safe respirator use.

For further info, check out the following links:


Submitted by: Donna Kolody/Emedco – Custom, Safety & Marking Solutions- Your Way, Today, Guaranteed!

What is the value of Safety?

February 16, 2010

We can’t seem to escape hearing about accidents everywhere we turn and are always looking for helpful tips such as: safety at work , safety at home , safety on the road, in the air, at sporting events like the Olympics, etc.  No matter the setting, the message is loud and clear:  SAFETY IS PRICELESS!

Take the workplace injury or fatality for example- when that injured or killed person is someone we know… a co-worker, loved one or friend, it hits much closer to home. We rally to support them but have to continually ask the tough questions:

1)     Was safety top of mind by the organization and employee?

2)     Could it have been prevented?

Especially during our current recession, a strong safety culture starts with an organization’s senior management buy-in and unwavering commitment.  The safety, health & environmental professionals (SH & E Profession) must emphasize their important role in an organization’s overall success to help ensure steady occupational growth. They must remember the many lifesaving stories to stay inspired and promote the benefits to the person that is listening. That is the key word.

This is a topic that we can discuss for a long time so in summary, we must get and stay committed to being the best safety advocate for ourselves and our companies and must keep listening.  We all know that PPE must be provided free of charge to employees and that there are many different categories such as: safety eyewear, hearing protection, hard hats, respirators, protective apparel, gloves, ergonomic supports etc.  Emedco has a very diverse line of PPE products- Top brands, great selection at competitive prices.

Emedco is your One-Stop PPE Safety Source. Your Way, Today, Guaranteed!

What exactly is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?

February 9, 2010

Thank you for asking! Simply put …its equipment that protects the person.

A more formal, encompassing definition from OSHA is: “Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, is designed to protect employees from serious workplace injuries or illnesses resulting from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Besides face shields, safety glasses, hard hats, and safety shoes, PPE includes a variety of devices and garments such as goggles, coveralls, gloves, vests, earplugs, and respirators.”

Why care?

IT’S MANDATED BY OSHA! Employers must perform a hazard assessment in their workplace to determine what exactly requires using PPE, provide appropriate PPE to the workers and require them to use and maintain it in sanitary and reliable condition. Emedco has an extensive line of PPE products to help you comply.

So, if you are an Owner, Safety Manager, Safety Coordinator, Manufacturing Manager, Purchasing Manager, Buyer, or a host of other titles, you have the responsibility to ensure employees reduce or eliminate injuries with PPE.   Also, as an employee, you always have the option to explore and research the multitude of PPE products on the market and make suggestions to your employer.

Additional Resources:

OSHA Fact Sheet

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.132


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