Choosing respiratory protection; what standards should you consider?

We often receive questions about the different standards in the field of respiratory protection. What standard currently applies and should I use? What products satisfy EN 141, for example, or what does standard EN 149 actually entail? Let’s take a look:

The only thing that you, the user, should consider is standard EN 529. And why is that, you might ask?

Standards and a driving licence

If you purchase a new delivery van for your employee, you can be sure that it meets stringent safety and emissions standards, otherwise the delivery van would not be allowed on the public highway at all. When purchasing it, you probably won’t delve into the details of those standards all that much. But what you do know, is that the employee has a driving licence. That driving licence is your guarantee that the employee knows how to drive a vehicle, and knows the traffic regulations so that he can be safe on the road. The same goes for respiratory protection standards too.

EN 529 will tell you a few things about how we should work with respiratory protective equipment

EN 141, EN 143, EN 149 and many other standards all say something about the technical details, but they don’t tell you how to use the protective equipment. That’s where standard EN 529 comes in. This standard will tell us a few things about how we should work with respiratory protective equipment and has a few similarities to that driving licence. You will only obtain that driving licence once you know how to drive a vehicle and are familiar with the rules of the road.

EN 529 offers advice

Standard EN 529 will advise you on how to choose the correct respiratory protection suitable for your work, as well as how users should be taught and trained. It also advises on how the equipment should be tested, cleaned, maintained and repaired.

If you apply the standard (guidelines) properly, your employees will know:

How to work with respiratory protection:

If someone decides to put on a mask upside down, it won’t be of any use at all. The same also applies to what to do if the protective equipment gets stuck whilst work is being carried out.

What the dangers are when you inhale contaminated air:

Not taking the mask off for a moment in a hazardous environment because it doesn’t fit very comfortably.

How the protective equipment should be maintained:

If a mask demonstrates leaks as a result of poor maintenance, it has lost its protective effect.

Which protective equipment needs to be chosen:

It won’t be the first time that a dust mask is being used to protect against paint fumes.

The very biggest saving you can make

EN 529 prescribes many further things that will help you when choosing the correct respiratory equipment and how to use it correctly. No obstructing requirements, but requirements with which your employees’ safety can be guaranteed. The very biggest saving you can achieve is less absenteeism due to incorrect use of respiratory protection.

Need help?

We like to help you by ensuring that your respiratory protection meets that important standard. If you require help or have a question about respiratory protection in general, give us a call on +31 (0)88 130 6030 or ask a question using the contact form below.


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