Online Custom «Respiratory Protection Selection» Essay Sample

Respiratory Protection Selection

Personal Protective Equipment includes important devices that are used by the workers to be protected from the airborne hazards including toxic dust, mists, vapors or gases, and oxygen-deficiency. Regarding the fact that there exist four basic categories of respirators, it is important to remember that they should be appropriate for a definite hazard and meet the OSHA standards criteria accepted by the US law (Capizzi, 2012). In this paper, the usage of APR (Air-Purifying Respirators) and SAR (Supplied-Air Respirators) will be analyzed on several examples. Therefore, the paper will show how the proper usage and choice of the respirators can protect human lives from various illnesses including cancer and lung impairment or even death.

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According to Capizzi’s study (2012), choice of the proper equipment demands three steps that include determination of the hazard and its extent, evaluation of the user related factors that can influence the respirator performance, and select the respirator and cartridge. Therefore, regarding the work with fiberglass components, one should mark out that its fibers can represent a gear health risk. Its inhalation, eye or skin contact or ingestion can lead to various irritations influencing the respiratory or digestive tract, skin or eyes accordingly (Zipser, 1992). In addition, some researches presented by Zipser show that fiberglass can produce human diseases similar to asbestosis and even cause cancer among animals (Zipser, 1992). The respiratory protection approved by NIOSH for the safety when working with fiberglass exposures into airborne fibers is N95 respirator. Therefore, the first event that demands protection from the fiberglass components sanded smooth prior to painting by assembly line workers requires the air-purifying respirator that will filter the air. According to standardized OSHA filter color, the device element should be orange as non-radio dusts, fumes and mists. In addition, the workers can be equipped with safety glasses or goggles that fit tightly. The clothes that resist fiber penetration are desirable. Moreover, it is important to wear the uniform that will be change after work to prevent transport of fiber to other places. Ventilation and safety shower are also necessary.

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A leak of a nitrogen leads to lack of oxygen in the air. In case a leak has taken place in supply line within a service closet, the supplied-air respirators are necessary, especially if supply of nitrogen cannot be interrupted. Asphyxiation is usually the result of the body oxygen deprivation; however, cryogenic and high-pressure hazards can also happen quite often (Chao & Henshaw, 2002). Although nitrogen is not a poison, immediate actions are required, so as to mix it with appropriate amount of oxygen. Fresh-air ventilation is necessary prior and during the work, and the usage of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) is also possible. At the same time, the compressors with a moisture trap, carbon monoxide sensor, oil trap and alarm should be used. According to OSHA standards, filter color for carbon monoxide is blue. The breathing air in the compressor is produced by mixing oxygen and nitrogen; it is important that during filling, the pressure of the must ensures that the mixed amounts are correct (Chao & Henshaw, 2002). The integrity of the final product needs to be tested. Moreover, it is important that the personnel understand the work of the supplied-air respirators or compressor properly and keep air supply monitoring.

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Hydrochloric acid is a chemical vapor; therefore, personal protective equipment is the last choice of its control methods. However, such situation as hydrochloric acid escape from a cylinder stored in an outdoor area may require not only reduction of the workers’ contact with the hazardous substance or the local exhaust ventilation usage, but the respiratory protective equipment as well. The choice of the respirator will depend on worker exertion level, cartridge variability, temperature, relative humidity, and multiple contaminants (Capizzi, 2012). If normal air is marked out as 21% of oxygen, the index of above 19.5% in the given situation cannot be labeled as a normal one. If it is less than 21% and means lack of oxygen, respirators with cartridge filters cannot be used (Chao & Henshaw, 2002). Air supplied respirator, like self-contained breathing apparatus, should be worn in such case. According to NIOSH, the color code for such inorganic acid gases is white.

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The last case regarded in this paper is a full 55-gallon drum of an organic solvent releasing vapor. The toxication with such organic solvent usually leads to injury of the central nervous system, pharynx and mouth inflammation, and mucous membranes irritation. Sometimes, bronchitis and pneumonitis can also be the results of such poisoning. The best protective gear in such case would be 3M low-level organic vapor respirator. The respirator cartridges can follow different organic solvent patterns; therefore, the right choice of not only the respirator, but also its elements is very important. For, instance, the N-filters cannot be used to save workers from organic vapors. In such a way, an air-purifying respirator with the organic vapor cartridge and dust pre-filter is a means to protect the respiratory organs (Tanaka et al., 1996). Filters and cartridges should be changed at least once per week. According to NIOSH, the color code for the organic vapor is black.

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To sum it up, the awareness and proper instructions of the personnel about the preferable protection from various hazardous materials is exceptionally important and can not only keep people safe and healthy, but even save their lives. The choice of filters and respirators is predetermined by the OSHA. In such a way, the fiberglass, hydrochloric acid, organic vapors hazards demand air-purifying protection, and the nitrogen leaks require supplied-air respirators. The proper choice of the respirators should always depend on the situation, hazardous material and various additional environmental indexes like relative humidity, temperature, oxygen level, etc. Neglecting even one of these details can sometimes lead to a life-costing failure.

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