Respiratory Protection Provides Safe Environment for Workforce, Visitors

On Aug. 25, training specialist Bret Peterson holds a Mine Safety Appliance at the plant’s training facility. This type of mask will be used by employees who make toxic area entries at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant.

There are six types of masks issued at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP), with each mask serving a different function. “Once the plant is restricted to certified personnel, employees who are allowed to move unescorted throughout the facility under the two person rule will carry the M40A1 mask,” said Jim Brewer, assistant operations manager. He said other employees and visitors who are permitted access to areas of the plant outside of the exclusion area will carry the Emergency Powered Air Purifying Respirator. “Not all employees will be issued a mask,” Brewer explained. He said employees who work outside of the Agent Alarm Mask Zone, such as those who work in the Personnel Support Building or Medical Facility, will not have to carry a mask.

Emergency Powered Air Purifying Respirator masks will be worn by vendors and visitors who will enter the Agent Alarm Masking Zone. It is a one-time use mask that can be worn up to five hours and is approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The Army air purifying respirator mask, known as the M40A1, is the most common mask at PCAPP. It is a chemical agent protective mask. Referred to as a “slung”, it is the mask most employees will carry once the plant is operational. It is also the mask toxic area entrants will pack as a backup to their primary masks.

The Half Face Air Purifying Respirator (APR) mask will be issued to employees working in areas where contaminants may be in the air, but do not require full face protection. The Half Face APR is worn with safety glasses for individuals performing work with contaminants that cannot be absorbed through the skin.

For example, a worker may wear this type of mask to filter out dusts and aerosols or a welder grinding metal may require foam-lined safety glasses and a face shield but not a full face mask with a respirator.

The Mine Safety Appliance (MSA) full-face supplied air respirator mask is used with different types of air supplies. Here it is attached to a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). The SCBA Ultravue is issued to personnel who will make toxic area entries, including members of the Emergency Response Team, Entry Support Area personnel, operators and their support team and maintenance workers.

The MSA mask, attached to an Emergency Breathing Apparatus (EBA). This combination is worn by employees who make toxic area entries wearing the Demilitarization Protective Ensemble. This mask receives supplied air via a hose. The EBA is a backup air supply.

Supplied air mask comes in two different styles—MSA UltraTwin and North. These masks are issued to Personal Protective Equipment technicians, maintenance workers, operations, operations support and provide respiratory protection from industrial hazards.

The North is just like the MSA UltraTwin but is manufactured by a different company.

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