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Safe use manual

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6. Personal Protective Equipment


In situations where airborne concentrations of chrysotile asbestos are above the permissible exposure limit (PEL) value, appropriate respirators are mandatory. Workers should be informed of when and why a respirator must be used, and the importance of using it continuously and properly. The correct procedures for the use and verification of protective equipment should be demonstrated.

Respiratory protection must be used only as a temporary measure and should not be adopted as a substitute for engineering controls or other corrective technical measures.

6.1  Evaluation of chrysotile dust level
Chrysotile asbestos dust levels in the workplace must be monitored by following a survey strategy. The results should be distributed to the persons sampled, the supervisor and the union representative. The results will determine whether or not a respirator is required, and if so, what type.

6.2  Selecting the appropriate respirator
There are several types of respirators available on the market, each providing a different level of respiratory protection. For example, based on a 1 f/ml standard, the following respirators are recommended:

The clean-up of dust and debris which can collect around the equipment should be carried out on a frequent basis using wet sweeping, HEPA vacuum cleaners. Clean-up crews must wear approved HEPA respirators when performing vacuuming operations.

Airborne fibre level Respirator recommended
below 1 f/ml Not required - but maintenance free, dust/mist respirators should be provided upon request by workers (e.g. 3M 8810; Racal Delta P2)
1 - 10 f/ml Half facepiece respirator equipped with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters.
Note: Under 1995 Quebec regulations workers can wear a maintenance free, dust/mist respirator where concentrations do not exceed 5 f/ml.
10 - 25 f/ml Loose fitting, full-face, powered air-purifying HEPA filter respirator with a protection factor of 25
25 - 100 f/ml Tight fitting, facepiece, powered air-purifying HEPA filter respirator
over 100 f/ml Supplied air respirator apparatus

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