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5 times you should wear a respirator when farming

| Dec 12, 2018 | Firm News

There are many commercial farms in the Chula Vista area. If you work in agriculture, you encounter risks that most workers never do. As such, you must take additional steps to protect your body from injury. If you develop an illness or sustain an injury at work, you may need to exercise your legal right to seek payment through the workers’ compensation system. 

You can likely decrease your odds of sustaining an injury, however, with the right protective equipment. While you may recognize the importance of a hard hat or safety goggles, you should not forget about your lungs. Here are five times you should wear a respirator when working on a commercial farm. 

1. Working in dusty areas 

Commercial farms can be dusty places. Whether dust comes from unpaved roads or moldy hay, you do not want it to collect inside your lungs. If you have asthma or another breathing condition, wearing a respirator may be even more essential for staying healthy on the farm. 

2. Applying pesticides, fungicides and herbicides 

Crop sprays are often an effective way to keep pests, critters and unwanted plants from ruining your harvest. They can also be toxic to humans. The same is true about ammonia and other fertilizers. If you are spraying crops, you must wear an appropriate respirator to avoid breathing in noxious fumes. Note, though, that not all respirators work for every type of crop spray. Therefore, you must read application directions carefully to choose the best possible respirator. 

3. Painting farm equipment 

Like crop sprays, aerosol paints often have toxic ingredients that can harm the human body. While keeping farm equipment in good condition is important, you must protect yourself during the project. 

4. Working on running vehicles 

Commercial farmers often wear many hats and perform a variety of job duties. If you conduct repairs on running vehicles inside of enclosed spaces, you must worry about exposure to carbon monoxide. Wearing a rated respirator may prevent you from succumbing to its effects. 

5. Welding 

Finally, if you regularly weld, you know how noxious welding chemicals can be. Unlike many other substances, these chemicals can sink to the bottom of your lungs, making them virtually impossible for you to exhale. With a respirator, you don’t have to worry about breathing dangerous welding fumes. 

Some of the enjoyment of farming comes from breathing natural air. Often, you can work without a respirator. For some activities, though, donning the right respirator is essential for staying healthy and avoiding a workplace injury or illness.