Respiratory Protection Information courtesy of Protec Direct:
Respirators are used to protect the wearer from inhaling harmful dusts, fumes, vapours or gases. It is the responsibility of the employer to provide respirators which are applicable and suitable for the purpose intended.
Protec Direct has a comprehensive range of respiratory products from fold-flat and moulded disposable masks to powered and supplied air respirators.
To select the correct equipment follow the four steps:
Identification of the hazard
- Dusts: Sanding, cutting , grinding and brushing
- Mists: Spraying, cutting, cleaning and grinding
- Fumes: Welding, smelting and pouring metals
- Vapours: Methylated spirits, petrol and degreasers
- Gases: Air like at room temperatures and have the ability to travel a long way very quickly
- Oxygen Deficient Note: Normal respiratory equipment will not protect against this hazard.
Note Dusts, Mists and Fumes are all classified as particulate hazards.
Access and understand the hazard
Ensure that you fully understand the hazard and the correct respiratory equipment is selected also the correct eyewear and skin protection may need to be selected.
Select the correct type of respiratory equipment
- Disposable masks
- Half masks
- Full face masks
Training for user and care of the respirator
Employer must supply suitable equipment for the employee
Employer must supply training including face fit testing COSHH regulations (2002)
Qualitative fit test for disposable masks and half masks
Quatitative fit test for full face masks
Equipment must be maintained and records kept.
Qualitative Fit Test Kits
COSHH regulations require employers to conduct fit tests for all wearers of tight fitting face pieces, such as full or half face masks and disposable masks. If the fit is inadequate it will significantly reduce the protection provided to the wearer
UK Standard Assigned Protection Factor (APF)
Reflects the level of protection that a properly functioning respirator would be expected to provide to a population of properly fitted and trained users.
The Nominal Protection Factor (NPF)
The reciprocal value of inward leakage.
EN149:1991 – Filtering face piece
EN149:2001 – Filtering face piece
EN405 – Maintenance free half masks
EN136 – Full face mask
EN137 – Filtering face piece
EN140 – Half mask
EN141 – Gas and vapour filters
EN143 – Particulate filters
EN146 – Filtering face piece
EN149 – Filtering face piece for particulates
EN371 – Gas and combined filters
EN12941 – Power hoods and helmets
EN12942 – Powered full face masks
3M Filter Selection Guide
For use against Gas & Vapour (EN141 & EN405)
- A Brown* – for use with Organic vapours with a boiling point greater than 65oc
- B Grey* – to be used with Inorganic gases & Vapour eg Chlorine (NOT Carbon Monoxide)
- E Yellow* – to be used with Acid gases & Vapour eg. Sulphur Dioxide and other acidic gases
- K Green* – for use with Ammonia and organic ammonia derivatives
- P White* – for protection against Particuate
For use against Particles (EN143 & EN149)
- P1 White* – for protection against coarse, solid particles (low toxicity)
- P2 White* – for protection against solid and/or liquid aerosols (low to average toxicity)
- P3 White* – for protection against solid and/or liquid aerosols (high toxicity)
For use against Gas & Vapour (EN371)
- AX Brown* – Certain organic compounds with boiling points less than 65c
*Filter Type & Colour Code
View the Protec Direct range of Respiratory Protection
Download “Time to clear the air! Protect your lungs when using cut-off saws” from the HSE
Other articles about Protec Direct:
Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.