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Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE)
The correct selection and application of respiratory protective equipment is vital for protecting employees and meeting international safety standards.
There are many working environments in which effective RPE is necessary, including cutting wood or stone, using products containing volatile solvents or working in a dusty area. Workers may also require RPE when working in areas with low oxygen levels, or where they may become low - such as confined spaces, silos or tanks.
The Range Of RPE Available from Protec Direct
Our wide range of respiratory protective equipment includes full face masks, helmets, filters and accessories to ensure all levels of respiratory protection are available and protection from airborne particles is provided.
- Disposable Respirators – Our range of disposable RPE includes FFP1 respirators suitable for low level dust based mists, FFP2 respirators suitable for moderate level dust/oil based mists and FFP3 respirators used typically for high level dust/oil based mists.
- Half masks and full face masks – The range of half masks and full face masks provide an exceptionally reliable level of protection with full face masks providing eye protection in addition to respiratory protection.
- Respiratory Helmets – Protec Direct provide a wide range of respiratory helmets, hoods, head-covers and much more.
- Respiratory filters – With respiratory filters from leading brands such as 3M, Scott, Moldex and Elipse the range available from Protec Direct will ensure your respiratory protective equipment provides the highest level of protection against dust/oil particles.
Respiratory Protective Equipment and The Law
The laws surrounding the use of RPE state that a full risk assessment should be carried out prior to equipment being specified and that companies with fewer than five employees are not legally required to record their risk assessment.
The law states that RPE should be used when:
- An inhalation exposure risk remains after other reasonable controls have been put in place
- When putting in place other control measures
- For emergency work or temporary failure of controls where other measures are unsuitable
- When there is infrequent short-term exposure and other measures may be impractical
In addition, all RPE must be looked after properly and stored when not in use in order to maintain working order and product longevity.
How Do I Choose The Correct RPE?
The three key considerations to take into account when specifying any RPE are the wearer, the task in hand and the environment in which the equipment will be used. In addition, there are specific considerations to bear in mind with regards to what is required to protect the worker. These include:
- The type of hazardous substance being dealt with, and the amount of it which is in the air
- The nature of the work being carried out
- The form of the hazardous substance being encountered, e.g. gas, vapour, particle
- Any specific worker requirements that may be necessary, such as a need to wear spectacles.
The Hazards That Require Respiratory Protective Equipment
Once the COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) risk assessment has been carried out in order to identify the hazardous substances, the next two key areas to consider are the products used that are classed as hazardous substances and the work activities that may generate harmful substances, such as cutting or heating materials.
When deciding on the protection factor required, it is vital to ensure that the RPE selected can adequately protect the worker from the hazardous substance in the air around them, and this decision will be based upon the amount of substance that is present in the immediate atmosphere.
European Standards and Regulations For Respiratory Protective Equipment
- Personal Protective Equipment Regulations (2002)
- Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations (1992)
Honeywell Respiratory Protective Equipment
Honeywell Hand Protection
When workers are exposed to vibrating machinery, measures need to be taken to ensure their safety. At Protec Direct, we stock anti-vibration gloves from top brands such as Impacto, Honeywell and Polyco, including fingerless anti-vibration gloves, so you can find an option that’s just right for the task in hand.
Why wear anti-vibration gloves?
Vibrations from machinery can result in workers suffering damage to their nerves, muscles, tendons, bones and blood vessels. Over time, this can increase their risk of developing injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome and hand-arm vibration syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a neurological condition which results in symptoms such as numbness, aching or weakness in the hand and fingers. Meanwhile, HAVS injuries can be divided into three different categories, including:
- Neurological injuries – Starting with numbness or tingling in the fingers, in time this can lead to irreversible damage and even disability.
- Vascular injuries – These injuries cause the small blood vessels in the hand and fingers to constrict, causing the fingers to become numb and turn white. For this reason, the condition is also known as ‘vibration-induced white fingers’.
- Musculoskeletal injuries – This may take a few different forms, from arthritis and tendonitis to changes in muscle fibres.
With such serious health problems caused by exposure to vibration, employers have a legal responsibility to ensure workers are properly protected. The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 were put into place to protect workers from vibration, and must be adhered to by employers.
How to reduce the risk of vibration
A variety of measures need to be taken to reduce the risk of injury from vibration, including:
- Limiting the amount of time employees spend being exposed to vibration.
- Providing employees with protective clothing, such as anti-vibration gloves.
- Selecting suitable equipment, such as low vibration tools, wherever possible.
Take a look at the HSE website for further guidance on controlling the risk of vibration.
Who needs to use anti-vibration gloves?
Anti-vibration gloves should be worn by anyone who needs to handle vibrating tools or machinery. This may include workers in industries such as:
- Auto repair
Browse our selection of anti-vibration gloves below, or explore our full range of hand protection gloves for a variety of purposes. We offer everything from builders’ grip gloves to protective cut-resistant gloves, so you can find just what you need to protect your whole team.
Cut resistant gloves
When workers are exposed to sharp tools or materials, it is important that employers put measures in place to ensure their safety on site. Here at Protec, we stock a wide range of cut resistant gloves from leading brands including Traffiglove, Ansell, Skytec and Uvex, which offer the wearer durability as well as comfort. You can also find specialist gloves such as lightweight cut resistant gloves and glass fibre gloves.
Why wear cut resistant gloves?
Cuts, specifically to the hand, fingers and wrist, are the most common occupational injury in the UK. It is therefore paramount that employers protect workers who are at risk from serious injury as a result of handling sharp blades or tools, operating power tools or coming into contact with piercing materials. Common industries where this is relevant include:
While completely cut proof gloves are a myth, significant advancements in technology and materials like Kevlar, glass fibre and polyurethane mean cut resistant gloves can help reduce the level of risk and ensure that workers can carry out their jobs safely.
According to the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, if there is a risk of injury in a workplace which could be avoided with the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), then employers are required to provide suitable protective equipment for their employees. This means that PPE, and more specifically cut resistant gloves, should always be provided when there is a risk of injury from sharp tools, materials or objects. Employers are also required according to the regulations to replace protective gloves and clothing when needed.
Safety Standards for Cut Resistant Gloves
The EN 388:2003 European Standard applies to all forms of hand protection which protect against abrasion, blade cuts, punctures and tearing from mechanical risks. It sets out requirements including test methods, labelling and information which must be supplied with protective gloves.
This standard means that a four digit code must be displayed on the packaging of all cut resistant hand protection. Each number in the code refers to the product’s ability to perform in the following areas:
- Resistance to abrasion
- Blade cut resistance
- Tear resistance
- Puncture resistance
All protective gloves are also bound by EN 420, which sets out requirements that gloves must meet in order to be deemed fit for purpose.
Browse our complete selection of cut resistant hand protection below or explore our wider range of hand protection to find gloves suited to dozens of purposes and industries. There you can find the likes of anti-vibration gloves, builders grip gloves and many more.
PU Coated Gloves
Loss of grip and inflexibility can be frustrating for workers in a range of industries who require the use of gloves to carry out their jobs, but thankfully PU coated gloves offer a great solution to these issues. Here at Protec we stock a wide range of polyurethane coated gloves from leading brands such as Ansell, Polyco and Honeywell. Browse our full range below.
What Are the Benefits of PU Coated Gloves?
There are a number of benefits which make polyurethane coated gloves perfectly suited to a range of industries and tasks. These include:
- Flexibility – Polyurethane is incredibly stretchy and this makes PU gloves one of the most suitable forms of hand protection for jobs where sensitivity and dexterity is required. The material also continues to offer protection to the wearer, something that most other flexible materials cannot do effectively.
- Grip – Another great benefit of PU coated gloves is the unrivalled level of grip which they offer. The properties of the material mean that wearers have increased grip while retaining a huge level of protection and flexibility.
- Affordability – Finally, these gloves are also relatively cheap to produce and purchase. This is a great benefit for both companies and tradesmen, as PU gloves typically need replacing often, but the low price means this is not so much of an issue.
What Are PU Coated Gloves Used For?
Taking into consideration the benefits listed above, polyurethane gloves lend themselves much more favourably to certain industries and jobs. For example, PU coated gloves are often used in cleanrooms and electronics because they are non-shredding, provide great grip, and offer puncture resistance. They are popular amongst electricians especially as they are cut-resistant and are still very flexible for the wearer.
Safety Standards for PU Coated Gloves
At Protec, all our hand protection products conform to the latest legislation requirements in order to keep wearers safe from injury during use. For our range of PU coated gloves, this means that each product is approved to:
- BS EN 388:2003 – This European Standard specifies the full requirements, testing means, and information which must be supplied with mechanical protection gloves, including polyurethane coated gloves. The testing described in this Standard takes into consideration abrasion resistance and puncture resistance.
- BS EN 420 – This European Standard defines the general requirements and test methods which must be followed during the design and production of all protective gloves.
In accordance with the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations (2002), employers are required to supply any necessary protective equipment, such as PU coated gloves, to help workers carry out tasks safely. Employees should also be trained in the use of the PPE supplied, and equipment should be repaired or replaced when necessary.