Respiratory Protection To Prevent Illnesses And Death

Statistics have shown that the correct use of respiratory protection over the years has prevented hundreds of deaths. Face masks, respirators and fresh air systems are just some examples of what is available to mitigate the risks of working in conditions where oxygen is restricted; or where unsafe gases, dust and vapours may be present. Without the right equipment, workers could be exposed to many life-threatening conditions such as cancer, asbestosis and other respiratory diseases. An example of a profession where respiratory protection is essential is the Fire Service. Firefighters wear one together with their hi vis clothing. They are at risk in most emergency calls that they attend, making the need for the right equipment invaluable. As in many other roles, protective clothing experiences a great deal of wear and tear, very often on a day to day basis. Therefore another important aspect of ensuring employees are protected is to build in routine and regular checks on PPE equipment to ensure it is intact and fit for purpose, still providing the level of protection it was designed to. The employers’ duty also extends to checking that the equipment fits the user and that they know why and how to wear it. The equipment provided must be comfortable enough to encourage staff to use it and it must not interfere with the tasks that the employee has been asked to complete. While the responsibilities on an employer may seem onerous, it is better to carry them out than face legal action.