If you’ve ever needed respiratory protection for work, you may have heard the term “papper” (it’s actually “PAPR”) being tossed around – and you may not have any idea what it means.
Powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) are a type of personal protective respiratory equipment used to protect workers from breathing contaminated air. Different kinds of PAPRs exist for all different kinds of working environments, but all PAPRs have four things in common:
- A hood, helmet, or facepiece
- A powered fan, forcing incoming air through
- A filter to deliver clean air to the wearer
- A power source or battery
You may want to consider using a PAPR for a few reasons. First, PAPRs deliver cool air to the worker, making it much easier to breathe and significantly more comfortable to wear for a prolonged period of time. And if you have an employee with facial hair that impedes the fit of traditional respirators, a PAPR with a hood is a great alternative. Because the loose-fitting hoods and helmets of PAPRs only form a partial seal around the user’s shoulders or neck, they don’t require any fit testing. This also makes them ideal for employees who don’t fit in N95 respirators.
PAPRs are also great when additional PPE can interfere with respiratory protection. How’s a user going to comfortably wear a half facepiece when they’ve also got to put their welding helmet on? Many PAPRs now come with additional eye, face, head, and hearing protection built-in. And let’s face it – more comfortable options make PPE compliance more likely.
A Respirator That Protects Your Eyes?
An often overlooked advantage to PAPRs is a reduction in eye injuries. Yes, you read that correctly – a respirator can help keep your eyes safe. Several eye injuries occur every day when debris from the day’s work lands on a worker’s hair or head, then makes its way into their eyes after they remove their safety glasses or face shield. PAPRs offer options like hoods, helmets and other properly fitting headgear that cover the entire head and eliminate the risk of any falling remnants injuring eyes.
Of course, it’s always critical to perform a hazard-assessment of any job before selecting any personal protective equipment to determine what’s best for your employee’s needs. If you need help building your organisation’s respiratory program, get in touch with us today.