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Spot The Safety Violation: Does the Worker Have the Right PPE for This Job?

Which PPE Is This Guy Missing?     

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  • Hard hat [ √ ]
  • Eye protection [ √ ]
  • Safety gloves [ √ ]
  • Protective footwear [ √ ]
  • Respiratory protection [   ] . . . uh oh . . .

While this worker has most of the PPE he needs to operate that jackhammer safely, he’s missing one critical piece: respiratory protection to keep him from breathing in the dust he’s kicking up.

Moral: Workers who use jackhammers, saws, grinders, and other tools that generate dust (or work at construction sites, oil rigs and other workplaces that contain high levels of dust in the air) need respiratory protection.

EXPLAIN WHAT’S AT STAKE

Give Them 3 Reasons to Pay Attention

  1. A dusty workplace isn’t just a sanitary issue but a potentially serious health hazard.
  2. Dusts, or tiny particles in the air, can cause cancer, lung damage and other serious diseases if they get into your lung and blood stream—depending on the substance the dust is made out of (e.g., asbestos can cause a disease called mesothelioma or asbestositis).
  3. One of the best ways to keep dusts from entering your workers’ bodies is to ensure they do something the worker in this photo is not doing, namely, use appropriate respiratory protective equipment.

USE THE RIGHT RESPIRATOR FOR THE JOB
6 Basic Kinds of Respirators

Recognizing the need to use respiratory protection is half the battle. Explain that workers also need to select the right kind of respirator. Here’s an overview of the 6 basic types of respirators and what each one can and can’t be used for:

1. SINGLE-STRAP DUST MASKS (Non-NIOSH approved)Can Be Used for: Less severe atmospheric hazards like pollen, allergens and non-toxic nuisance dusts.

Can’t Be Used for: Hazardous atmospheres.

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 2. APPROVED FILTERING FACEPIECES (DUST MASKS)Can Be Used for: Dust, mists, welding fumes, etc.

Can’t Be Used for: Gases, vapors, toxic minerals like asbestos and toxic metals like lead.

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 3. HALF-FACE RESPIRATORSCan Be Used for: Most vapors, acid gases, dust or welding fumes as long as the filter/cartridge matches the contaminant and is changed periodically.

Can’t Be Used for: Oxygen deficient or IDLH (immediately dangerous to life and health) atmospheres, confined space work or particulates the cartridge/filter isn’t designed to protect against.

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4. FULL-FACE RESPIRATORSCan Be Used for: Most vapors, acid gases, dust or welding fumes as long as the cartridge/filter matches the contaminant and is changed periodically.

Can’t Be Used for: Oxygen deficient or IDLH atmospheres, confined space work or particulates the cartridge/filter isn’t designed to protect against.

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 5. LOOSE-FITTING POWERED AIR-PURIFYING RESPIRATORS (PAPR)Can Be Used for: Most vapors, acid gases, dust or welding fumes as long as the cartridge/filter matches the contaminant and is changed periodically (and the batteries to blowers are charged).

Can’t Be Used for: Oxygen deficient or IDLH atmospheres, confined space work or particulates the cartridge/filter isn’t designed to protect against.

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 6. SELF-CONTAINED BREATHING APPARATUS (SCBA)Can Be Used for: Entry and escape from IDLH or oxygen-deficient atmospheres.

Can’t Be Used for: Protection of workers with facial hair that gets between the face-piece sealing area of the mask and the face and interferes with the seal.

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8 Respiratory Protection Do’s & Don’ts to Relay to Workers:

X DON’T use jackhammers, drills, and other dust generating tools without respiratory protection.

 DO select the right form of respiratory protection equipment for the job you’re doing.

X DON’T use respiratory protective equipment if it’s defective or doesn’t fit you properly.

 DO immediately notify your supervisor if your respiratory equipment is broken or doesn’t fit you right.

X DON’T tinker with your equipment, e.g., by drilling holes or painting it—your alterations might render the equipment ineffective.

 DO inspect your respiratory equipment each day before you use it.

X DON’T eat, drink or smoke in work areas containing potentially harmful dusts.

 DO wash up and change your clothes after the shift ends so you don’t take the nasty dusts you were exposed to on the job site home to your family.

REMEMBER,
This. . .

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