Updated: Feb 15
Ensuring safety within the workplace is an important and essential part of our industry. Protecting yourself and employees from hazardous particulates, gases and fumes along with any other contaminants should and will be at the top of your list when it comes to health and safety. Many of which will have explored numerous welding helmets for protection of the eyes without realising the possible damage welding fume can produce even while welding outside.
Why should I use a PAPR system?
Using a PAPR system while welding is a must to increase protection against welding fume and should be worn while welding including welding mild steel. HSE - Health and safety executive have made a statement on the importance of RPE (Respiratory protective equipment) to protect against the residual fume. Appropriate RPE should be provided for welding outdoors and users are suitably instructed and trained in the use of these controls. https://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/mild-steel-welding-fume.htm. This includes all welding activities for workers, employers, self-employed or contractors including mild steel of any industry.
In February 2019 HSE made a change in enforcement expectations for Mild steel welding fume, stating there is new scientific evidence from the international agency for research on cancer. That exposure to mild steel welding fume can cause lung cancer and possibly kidney cancer in humans. We have discussed this more in our previous blog post - "Change in Enforcement Expectations for Mild Steel"
What are the benefits of using a PAPR system?
There're many benefits to using this type of PPE (personal protection equipment) compared to the disposable respirators, reusable or self-contained breathing apparatus including:
1. More comfortable breathing for the user. - These systems use a motor instead of lung power to draw air through the filters. Allowing users to breathe more naturally and having airflow blown throughout the helmet keeping them cool.
2. Integrated eye protection - Using a PAPR system will help protect eyes and face from sparks and other hazards due to it being a helmet instead of a mask. This will also include genuinely a wide field of vision of the application.
3. Combined protection from the neck up - Complete PAPR system will include welding helmet and blower unit for head, eyes and respiratory protection that has been designed to work together perfectly to protect the user.
4. Ease of wear - With the ability to breathe naturally PAPR respirators is comfortable to wear even for long periods during various applications which lessen the chance of the user removing this and being exposed to a hazardous environment.
5. Allows users to have any form of facial hair without compromising on protection - With many of these PAPR systems, they have loose-fitting headgear that allows for users to have facial hair without compromising the seal of tight-fitting facepieces and ensuring respiratory protection.
What would we suggest?
At Truflame Welding Equipment we have a range of protective equipment that has been specifically designed to ensure users are fully protected while welding. Our respiratory protection range includes PAPR systems from market leaders including ESAB and Optrel.
Optrel Welding protection has released numerous excellent PAPR systems including their Panoramaxx range that has combined high technology with the panoramaxx welding shell. The CLT uses Optrel's extremely popular Crystal Lens technology that allows welders to see what is going on in the weld pool with clarity. Combined with e3000x blower unit to ensure respiratory protection and comfort while welding.
BRAND-NEW Ventilated half-mask Swiss Air launched to provide ultimate protection. In a lightweight unit that is slimline to ensure protection in tight spaces. This mask has been designed as a revolutionary PAPR system with TH3 certified particle master filter, easily adjustable airflow 100-130 l/min and 14hr battery life. Interested in a unit suitable for all areas of your business? Get yours and feel the benefits or book in for a demo!
ESAB have a BRAND NEW PAPR system combining their popular Savage A40 welding helmet and ESAB PAPR system. Savage A40's state of the art ADF light filtration offering True Colour viewing of the welding pool and full user-adjustable controls for shade, delay and sensitivity. This PAPR system provides user-selectable airflow control to deliver TH2-level filtration performance for fine particulates.