Respiratory Inlet Covering

Last Updated: June 30, 2018

Definition - What does Respiratory Inlet Covering mean?

A respiratory inlet covering is the part of a respirator that forms the barrier of protection between the ambient air and the wearer's airway. Any air inhaled by the wearer of the respirator will pass through this inlet covering.

In some instances, the covering is designed to allow ambient air to pass through and be filtered by the covering. In other instances, the inlet includes a hose or tube that supplies safe air to the respirator. Respiratory inlet coverings may take many shapes. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) refers to the entire apparatus that seals the wearer's airway against incursions of ambient air as the respiratory inlet covering. Some commonly used coverings include sealed face pieces, full hoods, helmets, or just a mouthpiece with a nose clamp.

WorkplaceTesting explains Respiratory Inlet Covering

A respiratory inlet covering is an integral part of respirator protections. Respirators are a type of personal protective equipment used to prevent workers from inhaling dangerous substances. Respirators work by filtering ambient air for contaminants or providing the wearer with a supply of clean air. Respirators are one means by which an employer can ensure the safety of workers who must enter a hazardous environment to perform their tasks.

Respirators are often used when alternative air filtration and safety measures are not effective. For instance, an employee spray painting equipment in an enclosed area would wear a respirator to avoid inhaling paint fumes and particulates. The respiratory inlet covering of each worker's respirator should be regularly cleaned and inspected to ensure that it is working properly.

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