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6 SAFETY 2018 COATINGSPROMAG.COM Better Safe Than Sorry solvents and resins, could lead to issues such as skin and eye irritation, allergic skin reactions, respiratory tract (nose, throat, and lungs) irritation, allergic respiratory reactions, asthma-like symptoms, or breathing difficulties, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ese problems often occur through inhalation of the coating or if it makes contact with the skin or eyes, and repeated exposure can further add to the risk. Today, contractors are likely more aware than ever of these concerns following OSHA's implementation of a stricter standard for crystalline silica. As of September 2017, silica exposure must be limited to 50 μg/m3 (1.4 μg/ft.3) as averaged over an eight-hour shift. "e standard emphasizes engineering controls primar- ily," said Erik W. Johnson, a technical service specialist at 3M, which offers respirators, including both half masks and full-face piece models. "Water suppression and dust collectors are the emphasis. But if engineering controls aren't feasible or if they're not sufficient, then you may need a respirator to further reduce that exposure." Before selecting a respirator, 3M advises users to identify the hazard, determine the airborne exposure levels compared to the permissible exposure limits (PEL) set by OSHA, and then specify the level of protec- tion needed to bring levels into compliance. Generally, contractors should protect against particulate hazards — such as dust — with a particle filter, and against gases and vapors with a cartridge. If both types of hazards are present, combination cartridges are an option that can filter out both parti- cles and gases or vapors. e only respirators OSHA supports are those approved by the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). A ll NIOSH-approved respirators have an assigned protec- tion factor (APF), which can range from 10 to 10,000. To determine what level a jobsite needs, the exposure levels should be divided by the exposure limit. For instance, an APF of 10 means the respirator can protect against exposure levels that are up to 10 times the limit for that hazard. If the exposure level is 500 ppm and the limit is 50 ppm, then an APF of 10 would be sufficient. Based on those calculations for each job, a respirator can then be selected. "Half masks are probably the most commonly used respirator [by coatings contractors]," 3M's Johnson said. "W hether disposable or reusable, they all have an OSHA assigned protection factor of 10." "A full-face piece gives you face and eye protection built in, and it can have a [higher] protection factor," Johnson added. "But it has to be compatible with hard hats, and sometimes fastening the buckle can be problematic." If a higher factor is needed, numerous protective respira- tors, such as the full-face piece models, are available from respi- ratory specialists. Bullard is another provider in this space. "Our blast helmets, full-face piece respirators, and most of our respiratory hoods are developed and test validated to provide the highest 1,000 APF that NIOSH recognizes," said Bullard 's Dietrich. "Our products can be used as part of a supplied air system, which can allow for the use of cooling or heating vortex tubes to provide greater user comfort and reduced physiological stress." Powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) systems are an even stronger option. "In non-abrasive applications, such as spray foam installation, painting, and powder coating, many of our respirators can be combined with our powered air-pu- rifying respirators for improved mobility around the jobsite and/or for remote work in the field where a compressor or pump isn't always convenient," said Bullard 's Dietrich. Another high-tech model is the new G1 Industrial SCBA from MSA Safety, which includes a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) via an attached and refillable cylinder, a lightweight face piece with a wide field of view, and multiple harness configurations. Regardless of the choice of respirator, comfort and compatibility with other PPE equipment should also be considered. With half-face respirators, glasses could compete Better Safe Than Sorry continued on page 8 Regardless of which type of respirator needs to be worn by the worker, such as hoods for blasting, comfort and compatibility should be taken into consideration.

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