There’s no denying the importance and significance of powered airpuri flying respirators, and for workers who regularly spend most days in powered respirators, Honeywell has set new benchmarks for comfort, convenience, and confidence.
Tradies need to ensure using the correct PPE on every worksite. This is particularly true for those workers whose jobs entail highrisk materials. Honeywell’s Primair 700 Series (PA700) powered air-purifying respirators (PAPR) is squarely aimed at keeping these types of workers protected and productive.
Keeping the set up and use of the powered respirators simple and straightforward is critical for the product being embraced by users, and this integrated system is made up of the PA700 Series Blower Assembly – blower, battery, comfort pad and PVC belt—worn around the waist, with the blower unit sitting behind the small of the back. The hood or facepiece connects with the lightweight breathing tubes. The whole concept is built around the PA700 Blower Assembly as the central part of the system. You can then add a varied range of items for specific tasks, making the system extremely flexible and versatile.
To test the product I decided to involve a local sculptor, Richard, who has been working with a wide range of stone materials over the past 30 years. Richard has been wearing powered air-purifying respirators for his entire career and spends between 7 and 8 hours each working day in this same style of respirator.
There wasn’t a better guy to give us his thoughts on the Honeywell PA700 Series PAPR.
TEST #1: COMFORT
Richard has been adding soft pads with double-sided tape to various pressure points inside his own facepiece. I noticed his eyebrows raise a couple of times when he inspected the Honeywell facepiece inside and found these same points had already been padded. As he slid the mask on and fired up the battery blower, his smile gave away his approval of the well-designed equipment.
“There’s no doubt this is a premium unit,” he chipped. “From the ergonomics of the design to the construction, this feels like a more premium product than the powered respirators I have worn before. When it fits so well and feels this good, you are more productive because you don’t need to take as many breaks.
“The shape of the belt has been well designed as it distributes the weight of the PAPR across the lower-back area. The comfort pads are also doing a great job, and there’s also an inbuilt alarm system that notifies me when my air is blocked or reduced.”
TEST #2: PERFORMANCE
The air is fed through the breathing tubes into the back of the facepiece and then vented over the top of the head unit and down onto the face from the top of the brow. This design keeps the face cool and draws the heat down away from the face, which stops the front panel fogging.
The unit achieves a 99.97% minimum particulate air-purifying efficiency for all particulates.
“This is the first powered air-purifying respirator I’ve used or seen with multi-power air-level settings,” sculpted Richard. “It has three airspeeds that are easily adjusted and changed by reaching around to the blower unit on the belt’s back. Wearing gloves won’t hamper the process either, with oversized buttons for ease of use.
“Today was also 36 degrees, and I happily had the air level set on medium (or 2). This seemed to match the powered air I’m used to on my personal unit.
“The performance of the Honeywell PA700 has been excellent. When I first saw it, it did look impressive with its shape and black design, but it has also equally delivered in terms of its capabilities and performance.
“Other features that stood out to me were the optional filter cover which protects the filter, and the side-loading battery into the blower unit. I’ve owned units before where the battery loaded into the base of the blower, and after time the battery could fall out if knocked or bumped.”
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
This is a well-designed powered air-purifying respirator, so there’s nothing ugly to mention. But it’s in the performance, comfort, and versatility the success of this respirator lies. It’s quick and easy to set up, and comfortable to wear over long periods, so it’s going to be a success. With products coming for various other trades – a welder’s-mask option is on the way, for example – the success of a competitively priced, premium-quality option like this is almost guaranteed.