Training courses on the use of Category III PPE: selecting the appropriate respiratory protective devices

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During training courses on PPE, trainees are instructed on the correct use of protective devices and, above all, on what to do in case of malfunctions.

Training courses on the use of PPE

Personal protective equipment is often indispensable at the workplace. These are systems that protect workers, safeguarding them from hazards that could otherwise lead to harm befalling them. In fact, they are often considered as life-saving devices which isolate the worker and his vital parts. Personal protective equipment is not all the same; in fact, there are considerable differences between the various levels of protection offered.

Users of particular types of PPE, especially those for the protection of the respiratory system, need to attend training courses designed to familiarize them with all the fundamental aspects surrounding PPE used in the workplace. Respiratory protective devices, in fact, are, in many cases, essential devices without which the workers would be directly exposed to toxic materials and substances harmful to humans. These life saving devices fall under Category III of Directive 89/686/CEE, that is, the category which includes the risks that cause very serious consequences such as irreversible damage to health and even death.

These respiratory protective devices usually consist of face masks equipped with filters and, during training, trainees are taught how to breathe through a mask properly, how to service it and, above all, how to recognize signs of damage or malfunction in order to take immediate action and prevent harm befalling them.

Furthermore, instructors tend to use the more complex mask models equipped with filters during training courses on Category III PPE in order to fully prepare workers with requisite knowledge on the use of all types of PPE, even the more simple ones.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) used for training purposes

Before going into detail regarding the Category III personal protective equipment recommended for use when training, it is good idea to mention that, apart from respiratory protective devices, there is also other equipment to be worn for protection against other hazards, such as gloves and protective suits to protect the body from chemical splashes. Workers who come into direct contact with chemical reagents know that many of these substances can be lethal and cause serious damage even in small amounts.

Gloves and protective suits represent the best screen against these types of substance but, for the respiratory system, nothing is more effective than a helmeted powered air purifying respirator .

In essence, this is a complete respirator with helmet equipped with a filtering system that filters polluted environment air and conveys it to the inside of the helmet. Positive pressure forms inside the helmet thus preventing polluted air from entering. The latest models are wireless, i.e., they do not require electric connection cords or breathing hoses because batteries and fan units are built into the helmet..

During training on Category III PPE, trainees are taught how the respiratory system works, its composition, proper use and required maintenance on batteries and filters as well as any other routine maintenance required to keep the system working properly.

For training courses, the most suitable category III respiratory protective devices is the  KOMPAT88 respirator manufactured by KASCO srl.