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Safety Masks, Respirators and Helmets

Safety masks, respirators and helmets can protect workers and crafters from hazardous chemicals and particulates in the air around them. Even the particles of non-hazardous materials such as clay and wood can have deleterious effects if inhaled and can cause ongoing breathing issues and even recurring pneumonia. Many of these masks are rated and designed for different, specific applications.

Safety Masks, Respirators and Helmet Types

There are many different types of safety masks. Dust masks, for example, are often simple face coverings which allow the wearer to breathe through a simple dust filter. Respirators usually have many different layers of filter and fully cover the mouth and nose, offering aggressive protection. Welding helmets are safety masks meant to protect the face from welding sparks and the eyes from the intense light given off by welding tools. Other work safety masks and helmets protect the head from common workplace injuries, reducing the probability of concussions and other damage.

Dust Mask and Respirators Filter Ratings

There are a few common types of respirator classes to consider. P2 respirators are rated to remove 94% of dust, particulates and aerosolized chemicals which have a size of 0.02 to 2 microns in size. The vast majority of respirators have at least a P2 rating. A P1 rating covers even smaller particles and wider ranges of airborne contaminants. When shopping for a mask or respirator, consider the use it will be put to, and try to match the rating to its use. Some special mask filters are even rated for catching biological pathogens.

Safety Helmet Safety Ratings and Requirements

Safety helmets have different requirements based on the situation during which they're being used and should always be replaced after being damaged. safety helmets and hard hats with visors, for example, are ideal for use when one may come into contact with saw debris. Most regulations and standards for safety helmets must meet the AS/NZS 1801:1997 and AS/NZS 1800:1998 guidelines which require use certifications for specific performances.

Safety Masks, Respirators and Helmet Sets

In many cases, buyers can find safety masks, respirators and helmets as sets with other safety equipment. For example, many respirators may come with filter refills, or safety eye protection. Safety helmets may come with detachable comfort bands or ear muffs to dull out loud worksite noises. Some safety masks may come with special mask-visor cleaners, flame resistant under-helmet beanies and caps and sweat bands.

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