Breathing, Mould Abatement And You: What Damage Contractor Employees Need To Protect Their Airways
Ontario's guidelines for mould abatement are very specific, especially when it comes to protecting yourself against breathing in and transporting mould spores. As a damage contractor, you need to be sure your crews are following the guidelines to the letter. You can help your employees stay safe and stay healthy by providing them with the following equipment and requiring specific pre-work exams.
Lung and Respirator Pre-Screenings for All
Before you even hire a potential employee or send him or her out on a mould abatement job, he or she must pass a lung and airway pre-screening exam from a licensed medical doctor. This may include an X-ray of the employee's lungs to verify that they are free and clear of anything that could cause pneumonia or other lung diseases if accidentally exposed to certain types of mold. Once the lungs are clear, then the employee has to pass a respirator pre-screening to show that his or her NIOSH respirator with mould filters is functioning properly and that the employee can breathe through it easily.
Mould Abatement Suits, NIOSH Respirators and Harsh Chemical Filters
Full-body mould abatement suits should be standard with all of your employees, including your new hires who may only be observing during their first few days of work. Protective goggles are also a good idea, especially when your crews are using strong chemicals to kill the mold. NIOSH respirator masks are required by Ontario laws (see pp. 4-5 of EACO) and should be equipped with mould filters to stop even the smallest spores from passing through the masks. Additionally, chemical filters should be part of every employee's equipment and be used during cleanup and removal processes involving harsh chemicals.
Wearing Respirators Through the Mould Removal and Decontamination Process
Since mould spores can attach to the abatement suits, employees should be reminded to keep their respirators on until the decontamination process is complete. Once the disposable suits, shoe covers, head covers and gloves have been properly disposed of and the clothes underneath have been decontaminated, then your employees may safely remove their respirators. This way, the employees follow all safety guidelines and laws while also protecting themselves and each other from mould infiltration into their airways and lungs. If your business also handles cutting and removing heavily damaged sections of a home or building infected with mold, then the respirators will prevent any sawdust, insulation or drywall from entering employees' lungs too.
For more information, contact a company such as Sparklean DKI Mould Abatement.