Change to Respirator Filter and Assembly Process Reduces Respiratory Protection Effectiveness to Workers
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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  CH2MHill Plateau Remediation Company (Richland, WA - Hanford Site), Richland, WA - Hanford Site (CHPRC)

Published As:  Public

Date: 

Topics:  Respiratory Protection, Occupational Safety and Health

In 2011-2012, Mine Safety Appliances (MSA) P-100 cartridges were occasionally dislodged from MSA OptimAir TL Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) units. The contractor devised a "bumper guard" to minimize dislodging impacts. MSA evaluated the installation of the bumper guard over the top of the installed P-100 cartridge. In October 2016, it was discovered that the bumper guard prevented an adequate seal between the MSA OptimAir TL blower housing and the o-ring inside the MSA Chemical-Organic Vapor (Chem-OV) filter cartridges, reducing the effectiveness of the respiratory protection.

Lesson Learned: Evaluate respiratory protection process and component changes to maintain conformance with NIOSH approvals and manufacturer evaluations. Actively monitor implementation practices in the field.

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