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  • Peg Minichiello

Breathing Air Requirements in The Workplace – What Do Employers Need To Know?

As an employer it is your responsibility to ensure that the air your workers are breathing is safe and clean. This responsibility is reinforced by regulatory boards and not adhering to these strict requirements can have severe health and legal consequences.

High-quality breathing air in your facility should therefore be a priority.

A Quick Recap

Used in more than 70% of manufacturing activities, including the supply of breathing air to workers, compressed air is the most common utility found in industrial facilities. Hazardous breathing conditions exist in many industrial operations. In these operations, contaminants are introduced such as:

- Water and water vapor

- Carbon monoxide

- Oil and oil mist

- Solids

Breathing Air Requirements in the Workplace

When air compressors are used to supply breathing air in a workplace there are many steps to take to ensure that air breathing requirements are being met.

Air Quality Checks

How will you know if you’re meeting breathing air requirements if you don’t perform checks to establish the air quality? Regularly checking the quality of air that is being produced is of vital importance.

Another benefit of regular air quality checks is that if a problem does arise, it won’t go undetected for long.

Carbon Monoxide Monitoring

To meet breathing air requirements carbon monoxide content must be 10 parts per million or less. Having a carbon monoxide monitoring system in place to monitor the CO levels in compressed air helps you meet the OSHA requirements for Grade D breathing air. This monitor should have an alarm system that notifies the relevant people.

Employee Education

Educated employees are safe employees. You should provide training that provides workers with all the information they need to know about working with air compressors. The risks associated with using compressed air as breathing air must be properly explained.

Knowledge of how the machines work and what the different alarms mean should be included in the onboarding process when someone joins your company. All training should be put into a written document or file that is easily visible and kept in an accessible place.

Help Your Employees Breathe Easy

Protect your most valuable asset, your workers. Ensure that the air they are breathing meets breathing air requirements. And if you’re not sure where to start, let’s help you get your system up to standard. Simply book a site visit or request a quote: 925.667.3400/ We’re the industry experts that will help you get it right.

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