Farmers Lung (HSE AS5)

Selecting and using RPE

Remembering the following points when selecting equipment:

  • RPE should only be used as an additional measure when all other reasonably practicable means of controlling exposure to dust have proved inadequate.
  • RPE can never provide 100% protection against exposure - there will always be some leakage of dusty air into it.
  • RPE must be capable of giving adequate protection, must be suitable for the purpose and CE-marked with the appropriate standard of manufacture.
  • Suitable RPE includes a disposable filtering face piece respirator to BS EN 149 or a half mask respirator to BS EN 140 with particle filters to BS EN 143. The performance of both types of respirator depends on a good face seal. Include fit testing in the selection process.
  • Powered respirators such as ventilated visors or ventilated helmet respirators (to BS EN 146) may provide similar protection to approved respirators - if in doubt as to which type of respirator you need, ask your supplier.

Before use:

  • you must have received proper training in the use of a respirator, including fitting and maintenance;
  • examine the equipment for obvious defects such as worn straps or holes or tears in a mask;
  • store equipment ready for use properly where it will not be contaminated by dust etc. never hang masks with harnessess from nails etc.
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