Whenever their employees are working in hazardous atmospheres, contractors must provide them with proper respiratory protection. There are several kinds of respirators, and the one that’s appropriate for each job depends on the contaminants present and and the required protection factor.
Approved filtering facepieces can be used to protect workers from dust and mists. They should not, however, be used to protect them against gasses or vapors.
When confronted with most vapors, acid gasses, dust or welding fumes, a half-face respirator should do the trick. Just be sure the filter matches the contaminants and is changed regularly. Full-face respirators offer an added level of protection, keeping irritants away from the eyes and face. When working in immediately dangerous atmospheres, OSHA recommends outfitting your workforce in a respirator with its own air tank.
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