Requirements to respiratory protection for workers (World practices reviewed)

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V.A. Kaptsov1, A.V. Chirkin2


1All-Russian Research Institute of Railway Hygiene, Bldg. 1, 1 Pakgauznoe shosse, Moscow, 125438, Russian Federation
2«Beta PRO» LLC, Bldg. 6, 2 2-ya Kabel'naya Str., Moscow, 111024, Russian Federation


A great number of workplaces in Russia do not conform to sanitary-hygienic requirements and it results in wide use of personal respiratory protective equipment (PRPE). Choice on such equipment and its application are not regulated by the existing legislation in the RF in great detail as it is the case in developed countries. As a result, employers apply PRPE that is not efficient enough, or such equipment is not used properly, and it leads to diseases occurrence.
Our research goal was to reveal requirements to PRPE application which, when met, would reduce risks for workers’ life and health as greatly as it is only possible.
Our research object was personal respiratory protective equipment (PRPE).
We compared requirements to selecting and applying PRPE in the USA, Australia, Great Britain, Canada, and West Germany and also took into account requirement and experts’ recommendations existing in several other countries. When comparing, we tried to focus on key elements that determined whether PRPE applied in due time was able to prevent exposure to air contamination. Such key elements included choice on PRPE suitable for work under extremely hazardous conditions; permissible application of PRPE with different structure (expected protective efficiency); individual selection and testing whether a mask is fit for a face; timely replacement of respirator filters; requirements to skills of workers and their supervisors.
Our research revealed that results of PRPE application and requirements fixed for employers were most comprehensively estimated and well-grounded in the USA. The most favorable situation with quality and availability of materials on how to select and apply PRPE for workers, specialists, and supervisors is also in the USA. Results obtained via the performed comparison allow recommending US Standard 29 CFR 1910.134 as a basis for developing similar requirements in Russia.

PRPE, efficiency of personal protective equipment, protective efficiency, respirators, prompt-hazardous concentration, insulating properties of a mask, respirator filters, health risk reduction
Kaptsov V.A., Chirkin A.V. Requirements to respiratory protection for workers (World practices reviewed). Health Risk Analysis, 2020, no. 4, pp. 188–195. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2020.4.21.eng
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