Respiratory Protective Equipment

Quantitative vs qualitative respirator fit tests: What’s the difference?

Workers must pass a “fit test” before being issued tight-fitting respirators, with two methods of testing available – quantitative and qualitative. Both types of tests are used to determine if the disposable or reusable respirator has an adequate seal, by detecting if any air is leaking into the facepiece. However, qualitative tests are pass/fail, based […]

7 months ago

History of RPE in the Workplace

The use of Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) can be traced back over 2000 years, with a variety of primitive methods used before technology took over.

2 years ago

How facial hair impacts face masks and respiratory protection seals

Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) is critical in preventing workers from breathing in hazardous substances on the job. This is especially important in industries such as construction, mining or agriculture that have a high exposure to airborne contaminants which can lead to lung disease. Commonly, RPE involves a well-fitting mask such as: Disposable masks Re-usable half […]

3 years ago

How to safely work with silica dust. Laws to be reviewed

Workers who have cut engineered stone are being urged by to seek a health assessment after a steep rise in silicosis cases. In September 2018 it was announced that 35 silicosis claims have been lodged with WorkCover Queensland. Six of those claimants were terminally ill. According to an article in the ABC, this may be […]

3 years ago

Airborne dust management in the workplace and respiratory illness

Airborne dust in the workplace can reduce productivity and put workers at risk of developing allergies and respiratory conditions such as asthma, silicosis, asbestosis and cancer. Drier conditions can increase the likelihood of dust circulating in the air and with much of Australia in drought and drier conditions expected for the rest of the 2018, […]

3 years ago

DIY renovations an asbestos time bomb

Do-it-yourself (DIY) renovations are thought to be causing an increasing proportion of asbestos-related cancer deaths according to a 2013 survey and report in the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA). Each year, around eight million Australians carry out renovations or extensions to their home worth $5,000 or more, according to Roy Morgan research. While most asbestos […]

3 years ago

Is wood dust more dangerous than formaldehyde?

Breathing airborne wood particles as a result of sanding or cutting may be deadly, with wood dust and the formaldehyde in wood products both classified as Group 1 carcinogens. However the danger of formaldehyde and other resins in Australian-made wood products has been overstated according to managing director of Australian Forest and Wood Products, Ric […]

4 years ago

Alarm over silica exposure among tunnel and construction workers

A black lung specialist has expressed alarm that at-risk Australian construction and tunnel workers may not be being tested for silicosis, an incurable and often deadly lung disease caused by breathing in crystalline silica. “Silica is actually a lung carcinogen. And it causes renal disease, it causes other auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and other […]

4 years ago

Respiratory Protection Guide

For a more detailed outline on RPE, including class tables, a defect checklist and information on cleaning and disinfecting, see the ProChoice Respiratory Protection Training Guide. Breathing may be something you do without thinking, however protecting you or your workers with the appropriate respiratory protective equipment (RPE) should be top of mind. The high exposure […]

5 years ago

Guide to fit testing respiratory masks

The correct fitting of respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is critical to ensure a tight seal is made around the face and the respirator is able to prevent exposure to contaminants.  However individual facial structure, facial hair such as stubble, beards, moustaches and sideburns, long hair, jewellery and makeup can all prevent a tight seal from […]

5 years ago