dust mask

Essential Steps to Take When Wearing a Disposable Particulate Respirator

Essential Steps to Take When Wearing a Disposable Particulate Respirator. Maintaining your respiratory health at its best is vital. Especially when you’re constantly exposed to dust, particulates, and other hazardous respiratory contaminants. Depending on the line of work you’re in – chemical or construction industries – your workplace could be packed with toxic particles, smoke, fumes, and contaminants. This makes it necessary for you to have a protection program ready at hand. That you may be able to avoid respiratory diseases due to these pollutants.

As per the regulation set by the OSHA or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Contractors are required to set and implement a respiratory protection program. This is where the disposable particulate respirator masks like the N95 and N99 come in. Although these types are intended for low-hazard use. They ensure that users are protected from any atmospheric contamination to prevent any disease and illnesses.

However, there are times when the workers become vulnerable to certain particulates. Most of the time, this mistake can be attributed to the fact that they fail to put on the masks properly. But like all mistakes, this can be corrected.

How to Wear Disposable Particulate Respirator

Most particulate respirators come with an instruction guide but if it’s not available for some reasons, you can always follow the steps below:

1. Before wearing any masks, make sure that you have undergone fit testing. This is to make sure that the mask you’re wearing is a perfect fit to your face shape and that no leaks will exist. Even though you feel like the mask fits you perfectly, it is not a guarantee that the mask will completely protect you from hazardous particulates.
Avoid chewing gum or eating anything 15 minutes prior to fit testing. Beards should also be completely shaven so as not to interfere with the fitting.

2. Before you put on the mask, check it for any damage. If you do find any, do not use it and replace it with a new one.

3. Wash your hands before putting on the respirator mask. This step is to make sure that no dust will come in contact before you put on a clean respirator mask.

4. To wear it, place the respirator on your hand with the nosepiece touching your fingertips. Cup the mask with your hand with the straps hanging freely below and hold it up to your chin with the nosepiece up. Then place the straps on the back of the head making sure that they’re not crisscrossed.

5. Seal the mask to your face by pushing the metal nose clip gently to mold it to the shape of your nose. One way to check if the mask is properly sealed is by taking a quick breath. If you feel the air leaking to the outside, then there’s no proper seal. If this happens, readjust the nosepiece or try a different size or model.

N95 and N99 are intended for low-hazard use

Training your employees on how to properly put on a mask helps a lot when it comes to ensuring that they are safe from any dusts in the workplace. The employers must also be responsible for implementing the respiratory program and check if they are using the masks properly. This is the only way to protect them (and your business) from suffering any short-term or long-term problems.