Updated: Dec 5, 2022
Respiratory protection is an integral part of many different types of industrial work - disposable respiratory protection, reusable respiratory protection, POWERED AIR PURIFYING RESPIRATOR (PAPR), and self-carrying positive pressure air respirator (SCBA). Protecting employees from specific hazardous particles, gases, volatiles, fumes, and other contaminants should be a primary consideration.
People may be familiar with disposable respiratory protection, which are often confused with masks that are not certified. In other work environments, industrial customers may use compressors on the job site to provide air supply systems. However, your job site may not offer such an option.
A PAPR system typically contains a motor/blower, filter media/canister, battery, helmet, and breathing tube.
While there may be a higher cost outlay for choosing to use a PAPR system in an employee's respiratory protection program, such costs are justified because PAPR respiratory systems: No fit test is required if a loose-fitting face shield, hood or helmet is used
Provides greater comfort for the wearer
Possible integration of multiple types of PPE into one NIOSH-approved system (head, eye, face, and respiratory protection)
In selecting a PAPR system for workplace respiratory protection, let's explore the above-mentioned benefits along with others.
Makes breathing easy and comfortable
Instead of relying on the wearer to breathe in, the PAPR system uses a blower to deliver air to the filter material. The airflow from the blower into the headgear allows the user to breathe more normally as a result.
Available for people with a small amount of beard
When wearing respiratory protection, beards or other facial hair can interfere with the fit of the mask to the face. The PAPR system for loose fitting headgear, on the other hand, is designed to accommodate a small amount of beard growth by the user. As a result, the employee can continue to grow a beard for personal style, medical, religious, or other reasons.
No fit test required
Loose-fitting headgear PAPRs, unlike disposable or reusable respiratory protection, are not fit tested with oxygenated respiratory protection. This saves time and money because fit testing takes time and must be done at least once a year.
Integrated Eye Protection
Unlike disposable or reusable respiratory protection, loose-fitting headgear PAPRs are not fit tested with oxygenated respiratory protection. Because fit testing takes time and must be done at least once a year, this saves time and money. You can wear glasses even with this loose-fitting headgear
Integrated PPE above the neck
Non-integrated PPE, in which employees combine components from different companies' respiratory protection, is not usually intended to be a consistent "system." For example, you could wear a helmet from company A, eye protection from company B, respiratory protection from company C, and ear protection from company D. Because of your respiratory protection, your glasses may protrude above the bridge of your nose. Because of your respiratory protection, your glasses may push up over the bridge of your nose. Your earmuffs may fit inside your helmet, for example. However, there are PAPR systems that combine integrated protective helmets, limited eye protection, and respiratory protection.
The PAPR system is a single system designed for functional and operational integration
Such respiratory protection systems are designed to integrate the operational functions of respiratory protection when using a PAPR system approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (NIOSH). Furthermore, specific PAPR systems provide a variety of helmet, breathing tube, and air source options, allowing you to tailor a PAPR solution to your specific work environment.
Some PAPR mainframes, for example, can be configured to work with half masks, full face masks, or loose-fitting hoods, including welding helmets. If you are currently using close-fitting negative pressure respiratory protection, a PAPR system can provide similar protection via individual filter media/canisters in some cases. Furthermore, these types of respiratory systems, like other types of respiratory protection, can last a long time with proper maintenance, cleaning, care, and repair.
Specific work environments may require the use of equipment that limits the electrical and thermal energy of the system to prevent fire initiation in environments where certain hazardous gases are present. Specific PAPR system components are required to meet certain intrinsically safe specifications to perform respiratory protection functions while also minimizing the risk of fire or explosion initiation in these sensitive environments.
All day Comfort
Many PAPR systems provide filtered air throughout the work shift while providing comfort and protection, increasing employee willingness to wear them. Continuously filtered airflow provides respiratory protection and lasting comfort, helping you to focus on the task at hand. This benefits professionals in all types of industries, whether it's a medical environment, welding work, construction or mining.
High Degree of Protection
PAPR protects employees from specific airborne contaminants. Many loose-fitting hood models, when used with an approved PAPR system, provide a higher specified protection factor than most other types of negative pressure respiratory protection, depending on the hood or mask used, in addition to the full facepiece tight-fitting respiratory protection that has been tested for quantitative fit.
Protection of professionals in hazardous environments
PAPR is useful and often necessary in many different types of jobs and environments filled with hazards. For example, it can assist medical, military and public health first aid professionals during events such as natural disasters, mass casualties and terrorist attacks.
In addition, specific PAPR systems are often used in frontline medical personnel, patient and sterilization programs, and some of these PAPR systems also pass the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) relaxed PAPR standards developed by NIOSH for gases and volatiles.
Do I need assistance in selecting a PAPR system?
Before use, the wearer must read and understand the instruction manual provided in the product packaging. To learn how to set up a respiratory protection program and to know more about how the PAPR system can benefit your workplace, please contact us.