Farm & Ranch - May 2020

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FARM RANCH

THE NORTH PLATTE TELEGRAPH

MAY 2020

Respiratory protection still important for Ag amid pandemic Agencies team together to offer tips for farmer/rancher safety

» Store respirator in a clean, dry place be- tween uses. » Conduct seal checks each time you put on or adjust the respirator. (CS-CASH seal check video: youtube.com/ watch?vU8Inww-1avg). » Do not attempt to clean the respira- tor with disinfectants, wipes, soap and water, or an air compressor. » Avoid putting on, taking off or adjusting the mask with contami- nated hands. Wash your hands before and after adjusting or removal. » Discontinue use and throw away when it is splashed on, becomes dirty, becomes difficult to breathe, or when a seal cannot be obtained. If using a reusable respirator such as a

half-facepiece, full-fa- cepiece or powered air purifying respirator, the following recom- mendations should be observed: » Clean and san- itize the respirator after each use. This type of respirator can be shared only if it is cleaned and sanitized properly. » Store respirator in a clean, dry place be- tween uses. » Avoid putting on, taking off or adjusting the mask with contami- nated hands. Wash your hands before and after adjusting or removing. » Change P100 fil- ters after eight hours or 30 days, whichever comes first. If there is a shortage, continue to wear the P100 filter un-

til it becomes dirty or difficult to breathe com- fortably. » Change cartridg- es according to the manufacturer’s recom- mendations. If there is a shortage, change the cartridge when you can smell or taste what you are protecting yourself against. » To prolong the life of the cartridge, add pre-filters to cartridges that don’t have built-in pre-filters. » Check and replace valves and head cra- dle as needed to ensure the respirator is in good working order. A guide for choosing agricultural respira- tory protection can be found at: unmc. edu/publichealth/cs- cash/_documents/

outreach_resp_selec- tion_guide_jun14.pdf Cloth face coverings are not an acceptable replacement for a res- pirator at preventing exposure to respiratory hazards in the agricul- tural workplace. They should only be used as a means of infection con- trol. In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public setting where other social distanc- ing measures are difficult to maintain (grocery stores, farm supply stores, ma- chinery dealerships), especially in areas of

Telegraph staff reports Protecting lungs from risks such as chemi- cals and dust is critical to keeping agricultural producers healthy. Despite current shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers and agricul- tural workers still need respiratory protec- tion for many tasks. The Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health, in partnership with the Ag Health and Safety Alliance and the High

Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety have developed recommen- dations for conserving respiratory inventory while supplies are lim- ited. Reuse of two-strap disposable respirators is not recommended practice, but in a time of limited availability, it may need to be con- sidered. This type of respirator should only be reused within the fol- lowing guidelines: » A disposable respi- rator can be worn more than once, but it cannot be shared with another person.

Please see SAFE, Page F3

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