"If the battery was not stored properly and its capacity is reduced, the PAPR performance and wearer protection can be adversely affected," the fact sheet states. "The PAPR air flow rate may drop to less than the required level and the PAPR may operate for a reduced period of time than if the battery were stored under the manufacturer recommended conditions."
NIOSH approves a PAPR as an assembly of components, of which the battery is crucial. It must operate the assembly for at least four hours.
The PAPR may include more than one battery type. "However, for each alternate battery there is a specific assembly of components required to assure the PAPR performs to NIOSH standards," the agency says. "Use of components not listed on the NIOSH-full approval label for the PAPR and air purifying component constitutes an assembly not evaluated by NIOSH and may result in serious injury and/or death to the wearer."
Both rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries are used by PAPRs. Rechargeables may need to be conditioned prior to first use, depending on the length of time in storage, the document advises. The conditioning process may require several charge and discharge cycles to restore it to full capacity.
Non-rechargeable batteries should be kept in their sealed packaging until they are used. They should be disposed of when the expiration date is exceeded or when they can no longer provide a sufficient charge to properly operate at the manufacturer's specified air flow rate.
By Nancy Grover
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
October 21, 2013
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