While poor fitting gloves are an inconvenience, a poor fitting respirator is much more. If a tight-fitting respirator doesn’t fit right, it is not just a matter of comfort or convenience – it will not create a proper seal and puts your health at risk.
In this article, which first appeared in CoatingsPro Magazine in the May 2016 issue, authors Mark Caldwell and Tim Thompson address the importance of using fall protection equipment—for people and for tools—properly.
A good fit means the respirator will seal to your skin. A respirator can only work when air passes through the filter. Air will take the path of least resistance, so if the seal isn’t there, the air will go around rather than through the respirator – and therefore lessen the protection.
You’ve put on your respirator and other safety equipment. It’s time to get to work. You know your employer chose appropriate equipment for your job, and you passed your annual respirator fit testing. So you’re good to go, right? Not until you perform one easy task that should be an ingrained habit every time you use a respirator: a user seal check.
3M has been applying fit test science to respirator wearers’ life for years. We even pioneered the creation of the saccharin qualitative fit test protocol – the first qualitative fit test for filtering facepiece respirators based on taste of a test agent.
We acknowledge that loud noises can harm our hearing, and we understand the tremendous benefits of wearing hearing protection. But what we want to know is why this is important to you. We want you to be fans of the sounds around us. Here are some responses to the question “What’s your least favorite sound and why?”
We acknowledge that loud noises can harm our hearing, and we understand the tremendous benefits of wearing hearing protection. But what we want to know is why this is important to you. We want you to be fans of the sounds around us. Here are some responses from around the world to the question “What’s your favorite sound and why?”
We listened to our customers, and they were clear that they wanted relevant, easy-to-understand information on worker safety topics, training & technical resources, and regulatory news. This blog is one of the ways we hope to connect with our customers and the workers we strive to help to keep safe.
When is change worth it? When it can help save lives? Potentially millions of lives? You’d think so… but when it comes to humans, we’re often reluctant to change our behavior, even when the writing’s on the wall.
Inventors can sometimes seem obsessed. Bursting with energy and passion for their big ideas, they risk losing focus on the customer at the end of the process. And examples of large-scale, costly misses litter the business literature.