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Appropriate Safety Masks to Use to Avoid Inhaling Asbestos

Workers from practically all trades, from factory workers to roofers, carpenters, auto mechanics, plumbers, and others are in danger of being exposed to asbestos on the job. Studies prove that individuals exposed to the mineral for most of their lives are at risk from a variety of health problems, especially lung cancer.

Appropriate respiratory protection is thus essential when working in such hazardous work environments, particularly because ordinary dust masks prove inadequate for preventing inhalation of asbestos fibers. To illustrate, consider gas masks or respiratory protective equipment.

But how can employers be sure that the gas masks workers currently use are adequate?

An overview of appropriate safety masks can give employers a better idea:

Single Strap Dust Masks

These are not NIOSH (National Institute for Occupation Health and Safety) approved. While single strap dust masks are useful for providing comfort from allergens like pollen, it is not advisable for workers to wear them in environments where they are at risk from asbestos inhalation.

Approved Filtering Face Pieces

Dust masks, or approved filtering face pieces, provide workers useful protection against mists, welding fumes, and other allergens. However, they do not provide adequate protection against asbestos fibers. It is therefore not advisable for workers to wear them in environments where they are exposed to the mineral.

For workers who are exposed to asbestos on the job, select from the respirators below:

Half Face Respirators

Cartridges or filters in half face respirators must match the contaminants, in this case asbestos, and be changed regularly. Additionally, workers can use these respirators to work safely in conditions where they are exposed to dust, vapors, acidic gases, and/or welding fumes.

Full Face Respirators

These offer more protection compared to half face respirators. Additionally, full faced respirators feature a face shield that protects the wearer’s eyes and face from contaminants and irritants. They can also be used as adequate protection against welding flames, acid gases, different types of vapors, and dust.

Both full and half faced respirators must be routinely repaired, cleaned, disinfected, and inspected in order to make them last.

SCBA

A Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) is used for work environments which lack oxygen or are considered IDLH or Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health. An SCBA apparatus comes with its own air tank, and can be used by workers to access or escape from such areas.

Loose Fitting PAPR

Loose fitting PAPRs (Powered-Air-Purifying Respirators) allow workers to breathe comfortably via a battery powered fan which pulls in air through filters. Once the air is filtered, it is circulated within the apparatus’ helmet or hood. Powered-air-purifying respirators are comfortable to wear, even for bearded workers. For best results every time, change filters and cartridges on a regular basis.

HAZWOPER 8-Hour Annual Refresher Plus

GHS Hazardous Communication by 360Training.com

The HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response) 8-hour Refresher Course by 360Training.com meets the requirements mentioned in OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120 for 8 hours of annual refresher training for applicants who work on hazardous work sites.

The HAZWOPER refresher course is for employees who need to refresh their existing 40-hour and 24-hour HAZWOPER certification. It addresses 9 factors related to workplace hazards, including:

  1. HAZWOPER regulations
  2. Toxicology
  3. Confined space entry
  4. Personal Protective Equipment
  5. Decontamination
  6. Site analysis
  7. Threat recognition
  8. Medical surveillance
  9. Emergency procedures

In addition to this online course, the training package from 360Training.com includes the latest updates from the GHS (Globally Harmonized System) for Hazard Communication.

Eligibility Requirements

Only workers who have completed their 40-hour or 24-hour HAZWOPER course within the last 12 months are eligible for this refresher course.

The 8 hour HAZWOPER refresher course is intended for general site workers who are often required to work on hazardous sites, potentially hazardous sites or engage in hazardous waste operations. These include workers who:

  • Are often exposed or can be potentially exposed to hazardous waste on the job
  • Need to maintain a 40-hour or 24-hour HAZWOPER certification
  • Are involved in the storage, cleanup, disposal, and/or treatment of hazardous waste

HAZWOPER regulations can be confusing for workers. Online HAZWOPER training from 360Training.com takes a straightforward approach. Take the course at your convenience. All you need is access to the internet. Sign up today.

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Comment by Tara safe on March 27, 2018 at 6:18am

Right safety gear is very important in hazard prone industries as ineffective safety measures may pose serious injuries.

 Thanks!! This article gives an important insight on safety mask. 

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