||Personal Protective Equipment
MSHA's Occupational Illness and Injury Prevention Program|
"Wear Your Personal Protective Equipment, And Keep it Clean!"
In addition to the use of engineering and administrative controls to reduce exposures to permissible levels, personal protective equipment (PPE) is used to supplement these measures. In fact, for a few occupations, PPE may be your only means of protection. The following tips are for the use of respiratory protection in the mining industry.
- To protect yourself from hazardous atmospheres, carefully evaluate your environment and the task to be performed.
- Choose the appropriate respirator to protect you against the hazard and anticipated exposure levels:
- Single-use vs. half-facepiece vs. full-facepiece
- Air-purifying vs. atmosphere-supplying.
- Use the correct cartridge: dust vs. mist vs. organic vapor vs. combination.
- Be sure that the cartridges are not expired.
- Contact your Respiratory Protection Program Coordinator for assistance.
- Always inspect your respirator before use. Alert your supervisor and replace your respirator if you find a crack, puncture, tear, leak, or unusual condition.
- Be sure you are trained in the use and maintenance of the respiratory protection.
- Clean and maintain respirators per the manufacturer's instructions.
- Check the facepiece-to-face seal each time you wear your respirator. Proper facepeice fit is critical.
- Shave your face. Facial hair (and head bands, bandannas or other objects that interfere with the seal) must be removed prior to wearing your respirator.