Criteri di scelta e suggerimenti per la scelta dei DPI - Tecnista

Recently Alessandro participated in a Webinair organized by 3M for its authorized distributors on the Italian territory concerning the choice and use of individual protection devices (DPI).
He will share below all that he has learned during this important training course


The individual protection device, commonly called DPI is a protective element that the worker must wear in order to safeguard their health and safety during the performance of their work duties.

The choice of the most suitable for the job and therefore to the degree of exposure to the risk of the individual worker must be carried out in collaboration with the Head of Security, Health and Corporate Prevention in concert with workers or their representatives.
The worker plays an important role in choosing the dpi since he is jointly responsible.

Elements to consider in the choice:

a) Type of risk (direct or environmental: chemical, physical or mechanical)
b) Risks related in the event of the occurrence of an injury (direct and / or indirect collateral damage)
c) personnel involved

Peculiarities of use

Once the previous and established points are defined that the employee is suitable for the expected job, the DPI must be chosen on the basis of some precautions that if not respected could compromise the correct use and therefore the effectiveness:

a) Adequacy to risk
b) Fit (differences between kinds and sizes)
c) Comfort
d) ease of use
e) determination of the duration
f) Communication on how to use (operator language

The DPI must not compromise the work function or safety for themselves and for other operators involved in the range of action.

From a survey conducted by 3M it was that 41% of the operators does not use the DPI due to their uncomfortable and an additional 34% due to the impossibility to perform the work wearing them.

These data indicate that the correct choice of the DPI is essential to fulfill all the requisists indicated above and therefore make their use efficient.


Improper use or, worse, failure to use may pursue pathologies that will progressively manifest (and this makes them less recognizable) in the medium-long term.

Possible differences between a quality dpi and an economic one

What is the difference between a low quality anti-dust mask and an economy?
If we stop reading the declared characteristics we could assert without denial theme that there is no difference. But then why are these differences in cost?

Manufacturers are not explicit to this sense because it is difficult to demonstrate, for example, the duration of a mask or the actual degree of filtration.

However, there are indicators on which we should ask our attention and stimulate those who make a constant use so that it draws its appropriate conclusions. First of all the quality of the components with which the DPI are manufactured.
Visiting customers and collecting opinions and exchanges of views both on the products we sold and comparing them with the economic competition ones, we noted that some low quality dpi can cause allergies or intolerances. This problem forces those who use them to abandon them by reporting the degree of risk to exposure of pathogenic agents.

A further aspect is the duration. No manufacturer is able to indicate a duration of the product since this depends on several factors such as, purely: the concentration of particulate matter, exposure duration, physical conformation of the operator, its degree of attention to Proper conservation and use and not least, the quality of the product itself.

Always talking about masks, a netting of the thicker tissue is greater guarantee of protection but at the same time, if the fibers are easily permeable to the humidity produced by breathing, the clogging is early compared to the corresponding best quality product.

How to make sure what is the most indicated product and with the best quality / price balance?

Barbally there are two ways:
a) carry out comparative tests with objective determination of the results


b) rely on a known, certified and technologically advanced brand product that is able to ensure that they can fulfill all the requirements described above.

We remind you that the "disposable" masks have a maximum time limitation prescription of an 8-hour work cycle.


Before evaluating the DPI it is necessary to verify the individual peculiarities and the job of those who must use them, in perfect collaboration with the Health and Prevention Security Manager.

Any elements of deterrence to use must be analyzed and resolved. On the market there are solutions for all types of use and for all individual needs.

The products are generally all CE certificates but this is not synonymous with quality. Quality is guaranteed only by well-known manufacturers that invest and develop solutions for the improvement of individual protection in respect of workers, the environment and the economy.

We remain at your disposal to assess the most suitable solution to the specific use in collaboration with 3M that we thank for giving us the possibility of deepening many aspects linked to various title, safety, health and prevention in the world of work.

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