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Why Should You Choose PAPR? ABL's Guide To Powered Air Respirator's!

Why Should You Choose PAPR? ABL's Guide To Powered Air Respirator's!

Have You Been Considering a Powered Air Respiratory System?

ABL Can Help You With All Your PAPR Needs!

Respiratory protection is a requirement of many jobs throughout a range of different industries to help protect workers from certain hazardous particulates, gases, vapours, fumes and other contaminants. 

What Is A Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR)?

Essentially a Powered Air Purifying Respirator is a mask or respirator that purifies air through the use of a motor/blower. The ‘P’ in PAPR stands for powered. PAPR’s use a power source where a general disposable does not.

OSHA defines PAPR as an air-purifying respirator that uses a blower to send the ambient air through the air-purifying elements to the head covering i.e. helmet or hood.

powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) unit is typically made up of a blower/motor, filter/cartridge, battery, headgear and a breathing tube.

What Are Some Benefits Of PAPR Systems?

Albeit PAPR systems are a higher capital expenditure compared to that of disposable respirators, however these expenses may be justified by the range of benefits of using a PAPR system. 
PAPR systems have a range of great benefits. Some examples include:

  • PAPR Systems do not require fit testing if used with loose-fitting facepieces i.e. Hoods or helmets
  • Offers increased comfort for wearer - therefore reducing fatigue
  • Certain unit setups can integrate multiple forms of PPE into the one system - Including head, eye, face & respiratory protection

Lets explore other great benefits when it comes to using a PAPR system as your form of respiratory protection at work.

Easier & More Comfortable Breathing

PAPR systems use a motor/blower instead of lung power to draw air though the filter. This allows the wearer to breath more easily due to the air being delivered directly into the headgear by the blower. 

Suitable For Use  With Wearers Who Have Limited Facial Hair

When using tight fitting respirators i.e disposable and reusable half face masks, beards and other facial hair are a problem as the hair follicles compromise the seal of the tight fitting face piece. 

When using a PAPR unit with a loose fitting headpiece i.e helmet or hood, they are designed to accommodate a wearer with limited facial hair. This can benefit wearers who are reluctant to remove their facial hair, for style, medical or religious reasons etc. 

PAPR Units Do Not Require Fit Testing

The general rule is tight-fitting respirators require fit testing. 

If you are operating a PAPR system with a loose fitting headpiece (helmet or hood), then you are not required to be fit tested.

By eliminating the need to be fit tested this can save time and money since fit testing is required to be performed annually. 

Integrated PPE Protection In One Unit

PAPR systems which incorporate the use of a helmet or hood have the added benefit of providing additional personal protective equipment. 

Integrated face shields on certain headgear can protect the wearers eyes and face from hazards - in addition to this protection they also offer clear vision and a wide range of vision which can assist the wearer view their surroundings. Loose fitting hoods and helmets also allow the wearer to wear eye glasses (if required) without compromising the protection level. 

Some PAPR systems also include integrated hard hat protection for wearers who are required to wear a rated hard hard (i.e Quarries and/or mines).
By having a hard hat integrated into the PAPR helmet it allows users to comply with all regulations and still have the use of a comfortable and practical respiratory protection system. 

PAPR Systems Are Developed & Designed To Work As A Single Unit - No Hassles

PAPR systems are designed to work together as one integrated respiratory protection unit which is why so many PAPR systems allow the user to  choose from a range of headgear, breathing tubes, air sources, filters etc. 
For example, some PAPR blowers are compatible with full-face, half-face, loose or tight fitting headgear

PAPR systems offer the same level of protection against hazardous gases, vapours & particles as negative pressure tight fitting respirators with the use of a wide range of filters, cartridges and adaptors

Certain PAPR systems are also designed and certified as intrinsically safe which still provide respiratory protection while also helping to minimize the risk of ignition that could lead to fire or explosion in sensitive electrical environments. 

Increased User Comfort

Many PAPR systems come with a standard 8 hour battery meaning it can supply filtered air for the entirety of a shift. This provides comfort and protection that people will be happy to wear. 

The continuous flow of filtered air provides respiratory protection whilst being comfortable for the wearer allowing them to focus on the task at hand. 

The increased level of comfort that comes for using a PAPR system also helps reduce fatigue for the wearer and overall increases productivity. 

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