What are the essential health and safety requisites for Respiratory Protective Devices?


Many industrial processes are likely to release substances, fine dust and vapours which, if inhaled, can cause numerous problems to the respiratory tract up to the point of causing diseases, such as in the case of asbestos, which endangers the life of worker. In these cases the use of devices for the protection of the respiratory tract is essential and mandatory and they are to be made available by employers.

Respiratory Protective Devices: why it is mandatory to use them

The use of Personal Protective Equipment for the respiratory tract is required by law to protect workers exposed to environmental and health risks. This equipment has to be appropriate to the risk and used for as long as the worker is at risk. Respiratory Protective Devices serve to protect against harmful airborne substances such as gases, vapours and dust, ensuring that workers breathe decontaminated air only. These devices have to be used in the case of industrial processes, such as painting, sandblasting, chemical and pharmaceutical processing, during pesticide spraying operations and for all those jobs which entail a release of substances that may be harmful to the respiratory system and to the human body in general. It is the employer’s responsibility to choose the appropriate RPD for the job to be done. Respiratory Protective Devices are auxiliary measure and need be adopted only after having applied a series of other prescribed measures aimed at containing the airborne pollutants.

Essential health and safety requisites for Respiratory Protective Devices

Respiratory Protective Devices are to be chosen according to the provisions of current National and International Standards. Face masks must have filtering systems capable of providing workers with filtered air only. They should also have a means to expel any excess and/or exhaled air in order to warrant wearer comfort, and, be provided with a system to prevent the visor misting up during sustained work rhythms.

National and International regulations and standards prescribe the features that a Respiratory Protective Device is to have for protection against different types of risk present at the workplace.

In the case of industrial processes a more extensive, higher level of protection may be required and, in this case, Respiratory Protective Devices which protect the head, eyes and neck as well as the face are also available.

All Respiratory Protective Devices should also cater for those workers who wear glasses or have a beard and moustache.

Whatever the type of RPD adopted in order to protect the health of the workers at the workplace, these must be marked with the CE mark of conformity and the date of production must be indicated. Face masks need to be checked and maintained regularly following the manufacturer’s instructions. Furthermore, before occupational use of filtering cartridges, a time change schedule should be implemented based on objective information or data that will ensure the cartridges are changed before the end of their service life.

Kasco srl is a leader in the  Respiratory Protective Devices  sector and has forty years experience in manufacturing technologically advanced, quality cartridges and filters, face masks, powered air purifying respirators equipped with helmets and face masks.