Which PPE Is This Guy Missing?
- 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
- A dusty workplace isn’t just a sanitary issue but a potentially serious health hazard.
- 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).
- 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:
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.
This. . .