3 Common Respirator Myths Debunked

3 Common Respirator Myths Debunked

Respirators are used to protect the wearer from inhaling harmful substances, including infectious particles and chemical vapors. With varying degrees of protection, respirators are available in many different types. While particulate respirators are used to filter only particles (dust and mist, for instance), chemical cartridge respirators (also known as “gas masks”) actually purify the air while you inhale.

Finding the right respirator to suit your needs will depend on the nature of your application. Just as importantly, you’ll also need to carefully follow the device’s guidelines to ensure full protection during use. There are some myths surrounding the proper ways to wear, use, and enforce respirators, many of which can actually be dangerous if believed. Here, we’ve collected and debunked some of the most common respirator myths:

3 Safety Respirator Myths:

 

MYTH: My company doesn’t need a respiratory protection program if employees wear masks voluntarily.

MYTH: My company doesn’t need a respiratory protection program if employees wear masks voluntarily.

 

TRUTH: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets forth requirements which employers must follow to keep individuals safe against the exposure of harmful air pollutants. Specifically, OHSA has a Respiratory Protection Standard which enforces respirator regulations. For instance, in settings where employees could be exposed to harmful fumes, vapors, smokes, sprays, and mists, the company must have a documented plan to explain how their respiratory protection program will be governed. This should also include procedures, specific types of equipment to be worn, care and use of the equipment, and medical evaluations for employees to verify their ability to wear respirators. Thus, even if your employees willingly wear respirators, government regulations still require you to have a plan in place.

 

 

MYTH: My facial hair won’t hinder respirator effectiveness.

MYTH: My facial hair won’t hinder respirator effectiveness.

 

TRUTH: It’s possible beards and mustaches could leave you more exposed to air pollutants. Here’s why: in order to keep you fully protected, the respirator needs to form an air-tight seal against your skin. Beards, clothing, and any other blockage preventing the seal from coming into direct contact with your skin can become an issue. By preventing a tight seal or blocking the exhalation valve, facial hair can allow contaminated air to leak into your respirator.

 

 

MYTH: I don’t need to change my respirator’s cartridge until I can smell the chemical while wearing it

MYTH: I don’t need to change my respirator’s cartridge until I can smell the chemical while wearing it.

TRUTH: Certain types of respirators use cartridges to purify the air. While they offer a high level of protection, they become less effective over time as the cartridge wears out. Thus, waiting until the cartridge is no longer working essentially defeats the purpose of wearing a respirator, as it no longer protects the wearer effectively. Moreover, using employees’ ability to detect smells is an unreliable method for changing cartridges, as they may be less sensitive to the fumes after working with them for a long time. OHSA mandates that employers should have a cartridge change schedule in place, so they can be replaced prior to losing their effectiveness.

 

If you’re in need of reusable respirators and cartridges to keep your employees protected, look no further than Harmony Business Supplies. Dozens of options are available online to accommodate every application, and a product specialist can help you if you’re not sure which model is right for your needs.

Why Employees Don’t Wear Hearing Protection

why employees dont wear hearing protection

Reasons Employees Don’t Wear Hearing Protection

Believe it or not, our hearing ability is a huge investment when it comes to work. That’s why it’s essential to take good care of our ear health while in the work field as much as possible.

 
There are several work environments that expose employees to noise levels that are actually unsafe and could promote hearing-loss such as places like construction sites or steel mills. It is vital for workers to keep a sound hearing ability as it is a crucial factor within the work environment, e.g. with regards to communication.

 
Without the use of proper hearing protection devices (HPD), workers may not be able to protect themselves from occupational noise exposure and thus it might be the case for them to acquire hearing impairment, or worse, hearing loss. This could also be the grounds for reduced productivity of workers in the field.

 
Unfortunately, most workers don’t wear HPD because of a number of reasons which affect their consideration to do so. Here they are:

Reason 1: Comfort Level

EAR MUFFS W/ ADJUSTABLE HEADBAND

Wearing HPD for some workers depend on how they actually ‘feel’ while wearing them. The comfort level of any wearable device greatly matters. Wearing HPD that are built and designed with very little consideration to a wearer’s ease may in fact be the grounds of some workers to NOT wear them at all.

 
The solution for this Hearing Protection Device dilemma is to actually give a good amount of time to actually canvass and research about which types of HPD prefer, both ease and functionality. After all, a comfortable worker is a productive one.

Reason 2: Supply vs. Demand

3M Foam Corded Ear Plugs

Sometimes, certain work environments lack in supply of hearing protection devices, so that not all of the workers get to wear one. Because of such a HPD deficit, some employees tend to work with no aid of HPD in an excessively noisy environment, e.g. construction sites and airport fields, to name a few.

 

In other cases, workers tend to go from one area to another. That’s why areas which are prone to high levels of noise should have hearing protection available for roaming workers at all times.

Reason 3: Hearing Conservation Training

E-A-R Swerve Banded Hearing Protector

Companies that operate in environments with extreme noise levels should consider organizing Hearing Conservation Training for their workforce. Not only is it crucial for firms to consider the wellness of their workers but it can also help their employees work productively.

 
Also, promoting initial training can help workers gain knowledge on the importance of HPD usage to their own benefit as well as promote the habit of wearing HPD at work.

Reason 4: Noise Levels in an Environment

Thunder T3 Noise Ear Muffs

Of course, the demand on the use of hearing protection in the work field depends on the nature of work. More specifically, hearing protection device usage considers the levels of noise that are being produced in the environment plus the length of time that workers are exposed to such noise.

 
Simply put, if you work in an ordinary office environment then you would not need earplugs or earmuffs, since such environment has very little probability of exposure to extreme noise. The only earplugs you’ll be needing in an office are earphones so you can stay upbeat and groovy while at work.

 
On the contrary, work environments that are exposed to tremendous noise levels should always consider HPD for workers, e.g. power drills that register 98 decibels (dB) which could cause hearing damage in a matter of 30 minutes.

 
To sum it up, in working environments with noise level ranging from 85 dB (the “Action” level) and up, workers must consider wearing HPD to protect them from damaging their hearing ability.

 

Browse our selection Hearing Protection Devices.

Not sure what you need?

Give us a call and our Supply Specialists will be glad to assist you.

(800) 899-1255

Eye Protection for Infection & Hazards

Protecting Your Eyes

eye protection

Isn’t it great to be at your best in everything you do? Whether its work or leisure, it pays to have good eyesight. There’s nothing like hours of diligent hard work at the machine shop with a project that’s waiting for promising pay. Having good vision lessens the risk of injuries and unwanted accidents.

No doubt that you and I want to have the same great moments at work or play, but unfortunately there are some things that can get in our way, particularly with our vision.

Eye injuries in the work place are very common. Thousands of U.S. workers sustain job-related eye injuries every day! Choosing the right eye protection minimizes potential exposure to hazards and infectious diseases via ocular exposure.

Imagine not being able to meet a project’s deadline because a smokey and dusty environment is making it seeing difficult seeing your work on a machine. Or, handling corrosive chemicals in the lab and you have no eye protection on? Can you even imagine medical professionals not using eye protection? Definitively not!

Reasons for Eye Injury

Dust, small particles, smoke, harmful chemicals and ocular diseases can all impact our vision. Chemicals and flying shards are just some of the hazards facing many modern workplaces. Healthcare workers, lab workers and janitorial staff are all prone to infectious diseases from eye exposure.

The 2 major reasons eye injuries/infection happen on the job are:

  1. No eye protection was being worn
  2. The wrong kind of eye protection was worn for the job

Some occupations that have a high risk of eye injuries/infection include:

  • Construction
  • Carpentry
  • Electrical work
  • Maintenance
  • Lab work
  • Health/Dental care
  • Welding

Good eye protection provides a barrier to infectious or dangerous materials getting in your eyes.

Proper eye protection can actually help enhance your performance, improve your eyesight given the right kind of lens, and prevent exposure to harmful particles and harsh chemicals that might permanently harm your eyesight.

All you need to do is to pick the right the right kind of eye protection for your activity.

Picking Proper Protection

Safety Goggles

safety goggles

If you’re in an environment where chemicals are being used, there is a risk of it splashes getting into your eyes. Choose the safety goggles with an appropriate and comfy fit. Also, chooses ones that that reduce fogging also known as anti-fog safety goggles.

Full-Face Shield Eye Protection

full face shield

If you’re in a machine shop, you need a full-face shields, particularly when you are welding. This will keep your entire face from getting exposed to welding heat, sparks and smoke. You can use face shields as well on pretty much any kind of work akin to that of welding or any that keeps your entire face exposed to harmful materials.

In a medical or dental environment, using a full-face shield offers the most protection. Full-face shields cover more of the face and offer more protection from liquids in medical and dental applications.

Safety Glasses

safety glasses

For anything else less risky at the workplace , you can simply opt for safety glasses to protect your eyes from dust and flying fragments and even give your eyes protection from direct UV exposure. Safety glasses are ideal for impact protection but less so for splash or chemical protection.

Use the right eye protection in unison with other Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) such as disposable gloves, isolation gowns, face masks and other items. Remember to opt for the right kind of eye protection either at work or play. You only get one set of eyes and you want to do your best to protect them.

Still not sure what you need?

Call our Harmony Supply Specialists (800 899-1255) to get just the right protection for your needs.

Get A Grip On Palm Coated Gloves

get-a-gripwith-palm-coated-gloves

What Are Coated Gloves?

Nothing beats a firm grip on work. Palm Coated Gloves (AKA Dipped Gloves) are designed to protect your hands from cuts and abrasions and offer extra grip.

Most coated gloves are made of engineered knit fibers for the glove part. The glove “shell” is then dipped in various coatings to make that great gripping texture and protection!

Different Coatings, Different Jobs

Coatings provide additional protection while resisting punctures and abrasions and offering improved grip while working.

Natural Rubber Latex Palm Coated Gloves latex-coated-gloves

Natural Rubber Textured Latex Palm Coatings offer good grip. Latex coating provides abrasion resistance and is great for handling building materials. Latex has very high elasticity and grip compared to other glove materials, and withstands extreme temperature and tearing.

Latex coated gloves are great for a number of tasks including general maintenance, shipping, receiving, assembling, and concrete/brick/lumber handling.

  • High elasticity and grip.
  • Great tear resistance.
  • Poor resistance against most hydrocarbon and organic solvents (i.e. gasoline).
  • Can cause allergic reactions.

Nitrile Palm Coated Glovesnitrile-coated-gloves

Nitrile Palm Coating has high puncture and chemical resistance. It offers greater tactile feedback, grip, and abrasion resistance, even when wet. 3x more puncture resistant than rubber latex!

Nitrile coated gloves provide excellent resistance to punctures, cuts, snags, abrasions, oils, and fuels.

  • Synthetic version of latex.
  • 3x more puncture resistant than latex rubber.
  • Stands up well to oil, organic solvents, and fuels.

Nitrile Micro Foam Coated Glovesmicro-foam-nitrile-coated-gloves

Nitrile micro foam coated gloves are a good choice for working in “wet” environments. The microfoam coating acts similar to a sponge and provides extra gripping power.

  • Additional foam coating acts like a sponge, increasing gripping power.
  • Good tactile sensitivity and dexterity.

Polyurethane Palm Coated Glovespolyurethane-coated-gloves

Great for small parts handling. Non-allergenic. Good stretch, strength, and softness. Low particulate shed. Great for protection from cuts from sheet metal, steel & glass. Resistant to oils, solvents and grease. They are not designed to protect from excessive heat or cold or from harsh chemicals.

  • Grips well without being “sticky”.
  • Breathable and dexterous.
  • Resists oil, solvents, gasoline, fats, greases, and oxidation.
  • Poor resistance to hot water.

Shop Coated Gloves

cropped-header_logo-4.png