Different industries use respiratory protection to protect workers from respiratory threats. A PAPR respirator is a self-contained breathing apparatus that filters contaminants like gases, fumes, vapours and particulates.
You may have used or at least seen disposable respirators which are often confused with non-approved masks. Some industries use onsite-compressors to create a supplied air system. However, this option may not be available in your workplace. Employers must do respirator fit testing for their employees at least once annually and every time they are using a new respirator to ensure they are wearing the right fit.
A powered air-purifying respirator uses a blower that forces air through air-purifying elements. A PAPR respirator typically includes:
- A breathing tube
- A motor/blower
While capital expenditure may be higher when you are choosing to include PAPR respirators in your respiratory protection program. The following justifies the use of powered air purifying respirators:
- When used with loose-fitting facepieces, helmets or hoods, there is no need for fit testing.
- It increases comfort.
- It integrates multiple PPE types.
Following are the benefits of using PAPR respirators in respiratory protection programs at the workplace:
Easier and Comfortable Breathing
This system does not draw air through the filter using lung power. It uses a blower. A powered air-purifying respirator supports natural breathing as the blower delivers airflow into the headgear.
Best Option for workers with certain hairstyles
Facial hair like beards can cause problems while wearing other types of respirator protections. These respiratory protectors have a seal of tight-fitting facepieces. On the other hand, PAPR systems have loose-fitting headgear. A person with limited facial hair can easily wear a powered air-purifying respirator. This type of PPE is beneficial for workers who keep certain facial hair styles due to religious, medical or personal reasons.
No Fit Testing Required
As PAPR headgears are loose-fitting, no fit test is required. On the other hand, other reusable and disposable respirator options require a fit test. This fit test is often performed once a year. A fit test is very time-consuming. You can save your money and time by using PAPR respirators.
Integrated Eye Protection
Other types of respiratory protectors require separate protection for the eyes. When you are using a loose-fitting headgear with a PAPR system, you don’t need separate eye protection. These systems have integrated face shields to protect eyes from sparks, debris and other hazards. They provide a wide field of vision and optical clarity. This allows you to easily view your surroundings. This also supports interpersonal communication. You can easily wear eye protection under the loose-fitting headgear.
Workers at some workplaces use non-integrated PPE. However, these PPEs do not work as a cohesive “system”. The worker may require headgear from one company, eyewear from another company and other pieces from other companies. The respirator may push other pieces up your nose and face. On the other hand, PAPR systems have integrated hat, eyewear and other parts. All parts of the PAPR system work together. As a result, you get complete protection without any discomfort. In many PAPR systems, you can even use breathing tubes, headgear and other parts of your own choice. It is easy to customize PAPR systems according to the environment.
PAPR systems are ideal for workers working in dangerous environments. You can buy PAPR systems from an online medical supplier.