Key Considerations for Safety Managers Buying Respiratory Protection

The information provided on our “Let’s Talk Safety” podcast EP1 and EP2 by Rani Naidoo, an expert in respiratory protection with 3M South Africa, offers invaluable insights for safety managers and officers responsible for protecting workers in hazardous environments. Drawing from her extensive experience, we have compiled key considerations for safety managers selecting disposable or reusable masks, emphasizing a comprehensive approach to workplace safety.

Tailored Risk Assessments

It is important to conduct tailored risk assessments specific to each workplace’s unique hazards. Safety managers must identify the types of particulates, gasses, and vapours present, their concentrations, and exposure durations to determine the most suitable types of respiratory protection required.


Regulatory Compliance and High Standards

It is important to adhere to the correct regulatory standards and to select products that meet or exceed these benchmarks. For South African contexts, this means ensuring compliance with European standards (EN), which provide a framework for selecting masks that offer adequate protection. Safety managers are reminded of the necessity of procuring masks with the appropriate certification, such as the EN149 standard for disposable masks.

Fit Testing and Compatibility

Once a respirator has been identified, it is then also important to conduct fit tests to ensure the effectiveness of safety masks. Safety masks have to provide a proper fit to ensure the intended level of protection.

Financial Considerations and Long-Term Value

Evaluate the cost-effectiveness and long-term value of disposable versus reusable masks. Safety managers are encouraged to consider the total cost of ownership, including factors such as durability, maintenance, and replacement frequency, to make informed decisions that balance economic efficiency with optimal protection. Contact Protekta Safety Gear to assist with a feasibility analysis to determine potential cost savings on disposable vs reusable respirators.

Training and Education

Comprehensive training programs will add immense value to safety practices by ensuring workers understand how to correctly don, and doff safety masks,how to store them correctly, perform fit checks to ensure there are no leakages, and recognize the limitations of their protective gear. Training and education will equip the workforce with knowledge to use respirators/masks most effectively, which will add longevity to the use of the product. Contact us to assist with your training.


Episode 1 and 2 of Let’s Talk Safety with Protekta Safety Gear podcast offers comprehensive insights to serve as a valuable resource for safety managers and officers, offering a detailed guide on the critical aspects of selecting and maintaining respiratory protection in the workplace. We trust that our podcast will assist safety professionals and provide valuable knowledge that ensures a safer work environment for all employees through fit for purpose safety solutions.

Listen to the full podcast.

Related Podcasts

Navigating Disposable Respirators: Insights From 3M’s Rani Naidoo Part 1

Our new "Let’s Talk Safety" podcast with Protekta Safety Gear focuses on key PPE insights for respiratory protection, from selection to care, helping ensure site-specific safety solutions are implemented effectively.

Read More
Navigating Reusable Respirators: Insights from 3M’s Rani Naidoo Part 2

Join us as we discuss the lifespan of reusable respirators, underscore the critical role of fit testing, and the necessity of routine checks to ensure optimal protection.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *