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Sep
22

What’s all this “breathing zone” stuff about anyhow?

In recent weeks, I have been asked many questions about the “breathing zone” and how it relates to a personal gas monitor such as the GasBadge Plus.  So what is all this “breathing zone” suff about anyhow?

At http://www.dol.gov/elaws/osha/lead/glossary.asp OSHA  defines the breathing zone as the area “within a 10-inch radius of the worker’s nose and mouth.”   That would indicate that an instrument used primarily for personal protection from toxic hazards such as H2S should be worn on the collar, the lapel, on a breast pocket or even on the brim of a hard hat – or simply within a 10-inch radius of your nose and mouth.

Some would suggest that because gases like H2S are heavier than air that the instrument used to protect against them should be worn  lower on the body, around the knees or attached to the top of the boot.  While there may be some validity to this argument, I believe that this puts the instrument itself in danger of being damaged in the working environment or even lost without notice and may make it more difficult to recognize that the instrument is alarming in high noise areas.   

Don’t ignore the fact that the GasBadge Plus or any single toxic gas monitor is intended to provide direct protection from a respiratory hazard.   Keep breathing, keep safe, and keep it within the “breathing zone”.

Dave

 

1 comment

  1. Munros Safety Apparel says:

    “may make it more difficult to recognize that the instrument is alarming in high noise areas.”

    I think you make a good point. It’s better to have the instrument somewhere close to the “breathing zone” because it means you can’t ignore or miss it. It just seems like the most reasonable place.

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