Selecting Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) that is both adequate and suitable can at first appear to be a daunting task. With so many options available and so many factors to consider, it may seem difficult to know where to start.
To help make your selection process as simple and effective as possible, the process starts here in this general guide to RPE.
This page should help you to evaluate your RPE options and identify which type of equipment is right for your workforce.
Arco and 3M offer a broad range of Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) for protection against gases, vapours and particulates.
There are two broad types of RPE available for protection against gases, vapours and particulates.
Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) must be both adequate and suitable for the work to be undertaken. Different types of RPE offer different levels of protection. To be classed as adequate the level of protection selected must be capable of reducing exposure to hazardous substances to an acceptable level.
The RPE must also be suitable for both the wearer and the situation, e.g. it must fit the wearer, be comfortable to wear, be robust enough for the environment in which it will be used and be compatible with other PPE.
There are disposable and reusable types of RPE. Consideration must be given to the storage and maintenance of reusable types to ensure both workers and the investment in PPE are protected. Maintenance of RPE will involve ensuring that trained personnel are available to conduct the work, spare parts are provided and an administration system exists to keep records.
The broad range of RPE offers you the chance to choose the level ofprotection, comfort, style and maintenance you need to work effectively and safely.
Arco and 3M's range is available in three protection factors and a variety of styles to suit your environment, wearers and budget.
Disposable respirators generally only protect the wearer from particulate hazards although special products are available to deal with nuisance levels of certain gases and vapours.
Features of 3M disposable respiratory products:
Half and Full Face Respirators have the ability to protect the wearer against particulate and/or gas and vapour hazards depending on the filters selected.
3M 4000 Series Respirators are a range of ready-to-use, maintenance-free half masks. They are a highly cost-efficient option for wearers who need gas and vapour protection but don't want the hassle of maintaining their RPE.
The 3M reusable respirator range also consists of three half mask and two full face mask design options to suit a range of requirements.
From the Classic 3000 and 6000 Series to the Premium 7500 Series, 3M half mask options are light-weight, simple to handle, easy to maintain and available in a range of sizes.
For RPE users who also need to wear protective eyewear, 3M 6000 and 7000 Series full face masks are an ideal option as they combine respiratory and eye protection in one item of PPE, avoiding the potential for incompatibility.
All disposable and reusable respirator wearers should be face fit tested as required by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH).
There are many benefits associated with using Powered and/or Supplied Air respiratory protective equipment over alternative types of RPE. The main benefits include; not having to fit test the wearers as the products are loose fitting; increased comfort for longer duration wear due to the cooling effect of air circulation; increased compatibility as a number of PPE items are combined in one system.
Powered and Supplied Air Respirators are differentiated as follows:
3M Powered Air Turbo units
These use a battery powered fan and motor to draw contaminated air through a filter. The filter captures certain contaminants and clean air is fed to the wearer.
3M Supplied Air Regulators
These use breathable quality air supplied from a compressor via a tube. The compressed air is regulated to a gentle flow and fed to the wearer.
3M Versaflo TR-300 Powered Air Respirator
3M Jupiter Powered Air Respirator
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