Order 43 mandates coal workers in NSW to use respiratory protective equipment (RPE) through their job. Each coal worker should undergo appropriate face fit testing processes as well, like face fit testing Brisbane could offer, to ensure the efficiency and functionality of individual equipment.
This is to keep workers away from the threats of workplace injuries, like Coalworkers’ Pneumoconiosis or Black Lung Disease among other debilitating illnesses.
What to know about respiratory protective equipment and face fit testing
Respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is a piece of equipment worn over the face, which helps in filtering dirty air upon breathing. This prevents dust particles from entering the lungs, shielding coal workers from certain diseases.
However, the face piece of an RPE should have a tight fit for it to work efficiently, as any possible opening on its edges could let dirty air pass through. Thus, Order 43 requires proper face fit testing to be incorporated on occupational medical assessment, which ensures proper fitting of RPE to each workers.
When to use respiratory protective equipment?
RPE should be treated as a last option in protecting workers from hazardous elements present on the air. Employers should only incorporate RPE to their workers after other practical control methods have been done.
This is to avoid giving a false sense of security or protection to the workers, specifically on threats that could be eliminated by other means.
Complete training and seminar
All workers should undergo proficient training about respiratory hazard, occupational disease, and the use of RPEs. This is to optimize their protection, and to increase their awareness about occupational health. Have a look at Resile
Using two or more different RPE
There are instances when workers needs to switch between two or more RPE from time to time, depending on the demands of their job. In such cases, face fit testing Brisbane or NSW company should be carried out for each of the RPE.
What if a worker has facial hair?
Common RPEs will only work on clean-shaven faces, but there are instances when workers couldn’t shave off their facial hair. This could be due to vital reasons, like religion among others.
In such cases, workers could use a different type of RPE that doesn’t require face pieces with fit size. They should inform their management or the occupational health service provider about such situations, for them to receive suitable RPE.
Proper maintenance upon incorporating RPE to the workers
RPEs should be maintained, inspected and repaired accordingly to keep its efficiency and reliability. Moreover, Order 43 medical requirements should also be fulfilled, like regular occupational assessment, to ensure workers’ health despite using RPEs.
With these pointers, a company should find reliable occupational health service, like https://resile.com.au/services/respirator-fit-testing/, to help incorporate RPE for the workers. They offer face fit testing Brisbane has for workers, facilitate training and seminars for employees, and conduct workplace health assessment as well.
This could help a company comply with Order 43 for the welfare of its coal workers, and keep them away from serious occupational health threats.