Joe Lewis, Product Category Manager - Hayley PPE
Based at our Halesowen HQ, Joe oversees the development of the Group’s PPE
business by supporting branches in identifying and pursuing opportunities and creating strong, long-lasting relationships with market-leading suppliers.
Respiratory protection equipment (RPE) plays a crucial part in keeping workers safe from respiratory hazards across a myriad of workplace applications. When selecting RPE, many companies may look to disposable or negative-pressure options due to the seemingly lower costs of purchase (e.g., half masks and full face masks).
Disposable and negative-pressure systems may provide a reasonable solution for the most basic protection needs. However, depending on your working environment and requirements, powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs), particularly loose-fitting PAPRs, may be the most efficient and cost-effective respiratory solution for the workforce.
What are loose-fitting PAPRs?
According to the Health and Safety Executive¹, a PAPR can be defined as a respirator which uses filters to remove potentially harmful contaminants from the air and uses a motor to push air through the filters. Unlike tight-fitting respirators, loose fitting powered respirators do not rely on a seal on the wearer’s face (covering the nose and mouth) as clean air is fed into a hood, helmet, blouse, or suit.
Now let’s outline some features of loose-fitting PAPRs, like the PureFlo 3000, and review how these features can provide benefit to your workforce compared to disposable and negative-pressure alternatives.
Other advantages of PAPRs include:
1. Lower cost
While the initial cost of a PAPR is higher than alternatives such as disposable respirators, they generally provide cost savings over a 2–3-year period. To help understand how much money you could save by choosing a powered respirator, speak to your local Hayley representative and they will calculate your bespoke cost-in-use estimate.
2. Less waste
As the lifespan of a PAPR is several years, switching to powered RPE can help to reduce waste and therefore reduce your workforce’s environmental impact. However, it’s important to note that not all loose fitting PAPRs are the same. Each respiratory protection brand offers something different, and it is essential to weigh up each product’s pros and cons.
PureFlo PAPRs by Gentex Corporation, for instance, which are new to the Hayley PPE range, are unique in that they offer a new generation of all-in-one, head-mounted systems.
Head-mounted PAPRs provide:
• Optimum mobility – No belts, no hoses, no snags
• Ease-of-use – A straight-out-of-the-box solution which can be donned and doffed in seconds
• Ease-of-maintenance with replaceable parts
1 HSE (n.d.), R - COSHH essentials: Respiratory protective equipment (RPE). Available at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/guidance/rseries.htm (Accessed: 18th August 2022).