In response to the current worldwide health situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Pure Safety Group (PSG) and Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) would like to take this opportunity to offer and recommend the following best practices for cleaning your fall protection equipment.
PSG’s Recommended Best Practices:
- First, remove all contaminants or build-up (dirt, paints, etc.), then fully clean the entire product with a solution of plain water and mild soap (for example common liquid dish detergent). The use of warm water is permitted, but should never exceed temperatures of 130° F (54° C). Allow product to fully dry in a well-ventilated location. Do not machine dry under any circumstances. Never use aggressive cleaners such as naphtha, turpentine, acetone, or other similar products.
- Never use sanitizing liquids, gels, or other substances. These include, but are not limited to: bleach, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or other products with sanitizing or disinfecting claims. The effect of these substances on equipment has not been evaluated by Pure Safety Group and may compromise material integrity.
- When possible, do not share fall protection equipment. If sharing equipment is unavoidable, clean equipment using the guidelines above before transferring equipment to another user
- Follow current guidelines provided by the CDC/WHO regarding hand washing and social distancing. Wash hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds, or if soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content. Maintain adequate space between workers (approx. 6 ft/2m) when possible to minimize virus transmission.
CDC’s Cleaning Guidance:
Click here to view the CDC’s suggested cleaning products for tools/equipment.
Chemicals Not Compatible with MSA Respiratory Products
- MSA does NOT recommend the use of disinfecting solutions containing strong oxidizers (e.g., free chlorine, sodium or potassium hypochlorite, chlorine dioxide, peroxides, etc.) as repeated use may adversely affect MSA Respiratory products.
- Do NOT use paint thinner, solvents, or hydrocarbon-type cleaners such as methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), gasoline, or kerosene. As always, inspect all head, eye and face protection before and after each use per the instructions that came with the product. Remove it from service immediately if it exhibits any conditions of wear or damage called out in the instructions.
Advice Regarding Filter Cartridges
- Cartridge Exterior – The exterior of the cartridge body may be wiped down using one of the cleaners described above. Care must be taken to ensure that liquid disinfectant solution does not touch the surface of the filter media itself. With all cleaning products, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, including contact time to achieve disinfection.
- Filter Media – At this time there is no recommended method for disinfecting the filter element. Disposable filters should be discarded and replaced at least daily or more frequently as circumstances warrant according to CDC guidance regarding reuse of PPE potentially exposed to COVID-19. Consult the CDC website for the latest recommendations
- Changeout schedule – Disposable filters should be discarded and replaced at least daily or more frequently as circumstances warrant according to CDC guidance regarding reuse of PPE potentially exposed to COVID-19. Consult the CDC website for the latest recommendations.
Shelf Life of Filter Cartridges
- All particulate-only cartridges and filters have an unlimited shelf life. This includes Flexi-Filters, Comfo® and Advantage® style P100 cartridges. Also, Type HE PAPR cartridges that are particulate-only have unlimited shelf life. These include Optifilter and OptimairTL Type HE cartridges.
- Chemical and Combination cartridges for all APR and PAPR have a recommended shelf life of 3 years. Please note that these cartridges do not have an ‘expiration date’ printed on them.
- Gas mask canisters, including industrial gas masks, CBRN and Riot control canisters have an expiration date printed on the cartridge label. Generally these are 5 year expiration. While the P100 or particulate performance efficacy of these types of canisters may remain intact following expiration, MSA cannot advocate use beyond the expiration date.
Please note the following,
- As with all Fall Protection products, it is critical to continue with pre-use inspections and regular competent person inspections as specified by local standards and regulations. All inspection procedures may be found in each product’s respective user manual.
- It is crucial that you do not use a chemical that might damage the integrity of the product.