Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Green Job Hazards

Wind Energy: Respiratory Protection

Manufacturing turbine blades involve operations like buffing and resurfacing, which may expose workers to harmful gases, vapors and dusts. Workers must be protected from the inhalation hazards through the use of ventilation. If the ventilation alone is not adequate, then workers may also need to use appropriate respirators.

Use of respirators may give a false sense of security and workers should understand the limitations of the respirators. For example, during heavy exertion the respirator seal is often compromised, which allows the chemical to enter the breathing zone (without being filtered) through the gaps between the respirator and the face. In such situations a worker who is not adequately trained may think that he or she is being protected. It is, therefore, essential that workers be provided training in the proper use of respirators and their limitations. In addition, they must be trained on the proper storage and maintenance of respirators.

Respiratory protection can be effective only if:

  • the correct type of respirator is used,

  • it is readily available,

  • worker knows how to put it on and take it off, and

  • it is stored and kept in working condition based on the manufacturer's recommendations;

Additional resources on respiratory protection can be found below:

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