Safety equipment for workers is also known as personal protective equipment (PPE). This term describes products that can keep workers safe from workplace hazards. Workers’ PPE needs vary depending on the industry they are in. For example, construction workers need equipment that prevents falls, while laboratory workers do not. Many different types of workers across all industries need respiratory protection.

PPE Safety Gear isn’t just limited to equipment; it also includes clothing designed for extreme weather conditions. Some jobs also require employees to use respirators. Respiratory protection can help workers keep their lungs clear of harmful substances in their surroundings.

Like most PPE though, there isn’t one kind of breathing mask. Your workers might need a specific kind or multiple kinds of respirators, like an asbestos mask, respirator mask for painting, or chemical respirator mask. The kind they need will depend on the type of respiratory protection they require while on the job.

Let’s look at the different types of respirators workers can use to stay safe:

Air-Purifying Respirators

Included among Safety Equipment for Workers, air-purifying respirators function to produce the effect their name suggests they would. You can divide these respirators into two subcategories:

  1. Particulate filtering respirators
  2. Vapor/gas removing respirators

Particulate Respirators

As their name suggests, these respirators screen out the harmful particles from the air that the wearer is breathing in. The kind of particles blocked will depend on the pore sizes of the filtering media installed in the respirator. Therefore, you will have to determine which pore your workers would need. For instance, they might simply need the respirator to filter out the dust from the environment. On the other hand, they could require one that protects them against a particular chemical that is common in the surroundings they are working in.

Vapor/Gas-Removing Respirators

Another kind of respiratory protection that is also a part of the PPE Safety Gear is the vapor/gas-removing respirator. This type of respirator has a cartridge – general or one for a specific gas/ vapor – to provide protection. Depending on the kind of work your workers are doing, they could need protecting from acidic gases, ammonia, organic vapors, or mercury vapor.

Supplied-Air Respirators

Safety Equipment for Workers, such as the supplied-air respirators is very useful for workers who are regularly exposed to different air contaminants. Think of these as a combination of particulate-filtering and vapor/gas-removing respirators. They can also filter out the water, oil, and odor present in the surrounding environment. These respirators are immensely useful for ‘immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH) atmospheres, as well.

Which of these suits your workers? Let us know your answer by leaving a reply in the comments section below!