Though the purpose and use of respirators in the industrial world may seem straightforward, they are actually more complex than you may realize. If your respirators are not properly maintained, not only are you risking a fine for an OSHA violation, but you are also putting yourself and your employees at risk by exposing them to harmful air.

 

Here, our experts at MC Tool & Safety will walk through common respirator myths and counter them with facts. Our team has been in this industry for years and has seen it all. We know we can help you and your employees stay safe on the job. Here, our experts will walk you through common myths and educate you on safety procedures.

Myth One: Facial hair will not affect the seal or safety of my respirator.

Fact One

If your facial hair is not shaved where the seal of your respirator attaches to your face, harmful air can creep into your mask, which can cause health issues. Multiple studies have shown that if anything intrudes upon your respirator’s seal, contaminated air will get past the filters and enter your body. Additionally, you need to ensure there is nothing obstructing the exhalation valve on your respirator. Without this valve, it may be difficult to have a clean air cycle.

Myth Two: Full-face masks are not necessary when working with formaldehyde.

Fact Two

Contrary to popular belief, OSHA has regulations that require workers to use full respirators when handling formaldehyde. Additionally, these full-face respirators need to have a canister or cartridge attached that will add additional protection. However, if you as the employer choose to do so, you can provide your employees with half-masks that purify the air entering the device, so long as there is an OSHA-approved canister and gas-proof goggles used, as well. Without these two additions, using a half-mask could impair the health of your employees.

Myth Three: Companies do not have to establish a respiratory protection program if employees willingly use them.

Fact Three

No matter what type of respirators your employees are using, you need to present them with certain aspects of OSHA’s respiratory protection program. Depending on the type of respirator in use, you may have to check that your employees are medically cleared to wear the piece of equipment. To learn more about OSHA’s respiratory requirements, contact our team today.

Myth Four: You only have to change the cartridge on the respirator if you can smell and taste the chemicals.

Fact Four

Everyone’s senses are different, and you cannot solely rely on taste and smell to change cartridges. For this reason, OSHA has a regulation stating that a consistent schedule needs to be enforced to change cartridges. This will help keep your employees healthy and protect your company from OSHA violations.

Contact MC Tool & Safety Today

If you are in the Twin Cities metro area and searching for a team of professionals to help you ensure you are doing everything possible to keep your employees safe on the job, contact MC Tool & Safety today. We will meet with you to discuss your needs before recommending safety tools and products that can change your business for the better. To learn more about our services or want to speak with an expert, give our team a call at 888-206-2569 or message us on our contact page today.