RR1064 Investigation into exposure when the visor of air fed RPE is raised during spraying

Air-fed visors (AFV) are commonly used within the Motor Vehicle Repair (MVR) trade for protection against exposure to isocyanate paints. However, a common practice amongst paint sprayers is to flip up the visor of their AFV immediately after spraying to check the quality of the paint finish. This may be only for a few seconds but if repeated numerous times during a work shift, this could potentially result in a significant increase in exposure. The aim of this project was to determine the reduction in protection and thus potential increase in exposure when the visor is lifted and to explore potential engineering solutions (by modifying the AFV design) to prevent exposure during any visor lift.

The results clearly demonstrate that lifting the visor whilst still within a contaminated atmosphere had a significant detrimental effect on the protection afforded by the AFV. Mean protection factors were measured at 1.7 in the lifted position and at 2.7 over the whole of the exposure period (from start of the lift to recovery of protection after refitting). This latter figure equates to a 15 fold increase in exposure when related to the assigned protection factor of 40 for AFV when used correctly.

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Updated 2021-04-15