If you are someone who loves working with food, either as a volunteer enthusiast or as a professional, it is vital to ensure that you don't develop any respiratory diseases due to the nature of your work. While working on different projects, you get exposed to a lot of wood dust, fumes, chemicals and tiny particles that pose a threat to your respiratory system. These may also cause severe allergies, and sometimes, even cancer to those constantly being exposed to the toxins released while working with wood. Therefore, it is a must to wear proper personal protective equipment or at least respiratory protective equipment while working on wood-based projects. You also need to ensure that the equipment you choose is well-suited to protect you from wood dust and chemical fumes. Here's a comprehensive guide of the essential respiratory equipment you'll need to stay safe while working on woodworking projects.
1. Protective Eye And Face Wear:
It is common to have minute wood particles entering into the eyes or getting stuck on a woodworker's face and later entering the respiratory tract through the mouth or nose. You can avoid this by wearing safety glasses and a full-face shield so that no stray particle can get to the face and thus to your respiratory tract.
2. Dust Masks:
Dust masks or Dust mask respirators are vital to protecting your nose and mouth from both the dust particles and the harmful fumes of chemicals used in woodwork. You can choose between disposable dust masks and reusable respirators, depending upon the type of work you do and your level of exposure to the harmful substances. The choice of an appropriate mask should also depend upon your body's health condition and the level of tolerance to dust particles and chemical fumes. Before you purchase a mask, make sure to check the specifications carefully along with its filtering capabilities so that you don't lack protection in any way.
3. FFP2 Respirators:
FFP2 respirator masks are a better substitute to the common dust masks in the sense that they provide a much higher level of protection against sawdust, strippers, and paint fumes. Some good respirators you can buy include those manufactured by 3M, Moldex, GVS, and JSP. While buying an ffp2 respirator, make sure they snugly fit around your nose and mouth, be able to filter out vapors and fumes, and have a mechanism to ensure clear vision while working.
4. Hearing Protection:
Sawdust and wood debris can also enter your body through the auditory pathway, and thus it is vital to keep your ears covered with earmuffs. Other than protecting the sawdust from entering your auditory tract, earmuffs will also help reduce the noise around you, keeping your ears protected from any unnecessary sounds and any probable damage to the eardrums.
5. PPE Suits or Coveralls:
Apart from the individual equipment, if you work in an environment with high exposure to wood dust, paint fumes, wood stains, chemical strippers, and any other materials that have the potential to cause harm. Moreover, wearing a well-fitting PPE suit will help you provide additional protection to your respiratory system, preventing the inhalation of any toxic fuels or materials.
Essential Features to Identify a Good Dust Mask your face mask is only useful if it can protect you well. Choosing and wearing the wrong type of mask or a face respirator that is not up to the prescribed standards is like wearing no protection at all. When purchasing a respirator mask, make sure it is certified by the NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) or EU-OSHA (for the UK). The markings granted by these organizations tell you about the level of filtration and protection provided by a particular mask. Ideally, an N95 mask or an FFP2 and FFP3 respirator are considered the best to filter out all types of air-borne toxins. The next feature to look for is the level of comfort your mask provides. If you own a woodwork business or are constantly present in the manufacturing area, you'd certainly need a mask that effectively protects yet allows you to work comfortably without causing much irritation or visual discomfort. Go for a respirator mask with soft nose foam, a foam face seal, multiple headbands, and exhalation valves. You may also want to try half masks with disposable filters for better protection and ultimate comfort. Last, don't forget to check for the weight of the mask, as a heavy mask or respirator will lead to discomfort.
It's important to ensure complete protection while doing woodwork projects by equipping yourself with the right protective devices. The above guide will help you determine the right kind of equipment so that you stay protected even while following your passion. You can now buy the best dust masks and respirators at The Respirator Shop in the UK at amazing prices.