Lesson 8 Respiratory protection

  • As described in Module 1 air contaminated with different substances may pose a certain level of threat to workers inhaling risk factors present in that air. The variety of possible risk factors is large, including dusts, mists, microorganisms, chemical substances (gases, vapours), radioactive material, fibres, etc. respiratory protective equipment (RPE) prevents you from inhaling those factors into your body from workplace air.
  • There are different types of respiratory protection devices, part of them used in very specific environments, in which you as cleaners will not have opportunity to work.
  • Respirators (filtering equipment), which are designed to filter or clean contaminated air from working environment before it is inhaled by the worker.
  • Breathing apparatus (isolating equipment), which deliver breathable air from an independent source to the worker.
  • Filtering face pieces (reusable or not-reusable). Depending on the filtration efficiency, they are marked as FFP1, FFP2 or FFP3. In the recent COVID-19 pandemics they were recommended to use as a protective devices from the viruses in the air.
  • Half-mask with filters. These are moulded devices made of plastic or rubber, equipped with a filter through which air passes to the lungs of wearer. The filters are made for different particles, gasses or vapours.
  • Full-face mask with filters. Similar to half-masks, but with a cover protecting eyes, nose, mouth and chin.
  • All respiratory protection devices have some kind of adjusting mechanism, which should be used to properly fit the device to the shape of your body (face).
  • Proper use of this kind of devices include checking the device against any structural damages, including inspection of the whole device, straps, bands, tapes, filters, checking expiration date.
  • Staff who needs to use RPE must be properly trained by competent professionals on how to use and how to take care of the equipment.