Who Should Wear RPE: A Quick Guide To Respiratory Protective Equipment

Who Should Wear RPE

Who Should Wear RPE: A Quick Guide To Respiratory Protective Equipment

RPE refers to Respiratory Protective Equipment that provides protection against airborne hazardous substances like gases, vapours and dusts that can cause severe damage to lungs and other body parts. Employers are required by law to assess the workplace and take all necessary measures to control the exposure of workers to these substances. The first step to take is to guarantee effective local ventilation, however, when it is not possible or not sufficient, employers have to provide adequate RPE. Keep reading to find out when you should use RPE, who should wear RPE, and how to choose the right equipment.

When should you use RPE?

RPE should be used as the last choice of protection when working with harmful substances. As it is intrusive equipment that can be uncomfortable and can interfere with communication and vision, you should only use it when you decide that other control measures – like local exhaust ventilation – are not practical. Also, keep in mind that RPW only protects the wearer, while other measures can protect the surrounding area.

Who Should Wear RPE
FFP3 Valved Dolomite Fold Flat Respirator
Who Should Wear RPE
Helsinki Full Face Mask – Universal Thread

Who should wear RPE?

When risks of exposure to dangerous substances remain after taking other measures, you must also use RPE. Dangerous substances include chemicals, mists, gases, solvents, powered, wood dust and sprays. These substances can damage the lungs, nose, skin, and respiratory system, as well as leading to death in some cases. For this reason, RPE is essential for those cutting materials like wood or stone, when using products containing volatile solvents, when welding steel and when working in closed spaces where levels of oxygen are low.

How to choose the right PPE?

Now that you know when and who should wear RPE, it is time to decide on what type to buy. RPE comes in a variety of equipment ranging from different size and purposes, including full face masks, half face masks, medical face masks and filtering devices. When selecting the right type, you have to make sure that it is adequate for the task, the risk, and the level of exposure. In addition, it must always be suitable for the wearer, meaning that it must have a good seal with the wearer’s face to provide effective protection while also providing freedom of movement. A RPE fit testing must be conducted by a competent person to make sure there is an air-tight seal. Also, remember that your RPE must always be CE Certified.

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