It's estimated that roughly 5 million employees in the U.S are required to wear respirators in close to 1.5 million workplaces working with respiration hazards. These devices help to protect workers against dangerous fogs, dusts, gases, mists, smokes, sprays, vapors and insufficient oxygen environments, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Some of the dangers can cause diseases, lung impairment, cancer or even death. And this is why it's critical that employers adhere to the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard. Officials believe that the proper application of respiratory protection procedures can prevent approximately 4,000 injuries and illnesses annually as well as 900 deaths from cancer and other chronic diseases.
Our Charlotte workers' compensation lawyers understand that respirators work in two basic ways to protect workers. First off, they work by removing contaminants from the air before making it into your lungs. Other respirators protect by supplying clean respirable air from another source. Respirators that fall into this category include airline respirators, which use compressed air from a remote source, and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), which include their own air supply. But these respirators are no good if they're not being used and if they're not being used properly. Although, respirators should be used as a "last line of defense." Workers should use respirators for protection from contaminants in the air only if other hazard control methods are not practical or possible under the circumstances.
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