When you are working in the manufacturing industry, you get exposed to various particles in the air every day. These particles can be metal fumes caused by welding, minerals, or dust. The longer you are exposed to these particles, the more chances you’ll acquire respiratory diseases. That is why it is crucial to wear respiratory protective equipment like a dust mask to reduce such risks.
When wearing a dust mask, you have to ensure it properly fits your face. This gives you the maximum protection from harmful particles in the air. To make the most out of your protective gear, follow the step-by-step guide on putting, checking, and removing dust mask below.
Putting on the dust mask
Before putting on the respirator, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. This prevents you from contaminating the mask accidentally before you put it. Also, trim your facial hair to prevent air from leaking in.
- Position the dust mask in your hands. The nosepiece should be at your fingertips. The nosepiece is the part with the metal strip.
- Cup the dust mask in one hand so that the straps hang below your hand. Place the mask under your chin with the nosepiece up.
- Pull the top strap over your head and place it above your ears. Set the bottom strap around your neck and below the ears. Do not crisscross the straps.
- Mold the metal strip around the bridge of your nose. Place two fingertips on either side of the nosepiece. Then, run your fingers down both sides of the strip.
Checking your seal
Air shouldn’t leak when wearing your mask. Check the seals by following the steps below.
- Place both hands against the mask. Take a breath in to check that the mask seals tightly to the face.
- Set both hands completely over the mask. Then, exhale. Check for any leakage from the nosepiece or around the edges.
- Readjust the nosepiece if air leaks around the nose. Readjust the straps if the leaks are coming from the mask edges.
- If there are still leakages after readjusting, try a different mask size or model.
Removing the dust mask
If the mask gets clogged, and it gets difficult to breathe, it’s time to throw it and use a new one. Here’s how to properly remove your dust mask.
- Avoid touching the front of the mask. It may be contaminated.
- Pull the bottom strap over your head. Then, pull the top strap over.
- Throw the mask away or store in a sealed bag or container.
- Wash your hands.
A dust mask can help protect you from the hazards in the environment. However, if you have pre-existing respiratory or cardiac conditions, wearing a mask may make it difficult for you to breathe. Consult your doctor first before wearing a dust mask.
Also, always read and follow the manufacturer’s direction when wearing a dust mask. The steps above are just a general guideline to maximise the use of this respiratory protective piece. It’s still best to follow the instructions that come with the pack for optimum effectiveness.