Are you required to wear a respirator?

SUMMARY

If wearing a respirator is required by your company then the 9 elements of the respiratory protection program must be followed including medical evaluation, training, and fit testing (http://lifeandsafety.com/enroll/#!/Respiratory-Protection/c/38135012/offset=0&sort=nameAsc). If you are voluntarily wearing respiratory protection you must be provided with the information in Appendix D.

FULL ARTICLE

There are many factors that affect whether you are required by OSHA to wear a respirator while working. Determining if it is required is the obligation of your employer. If it is required, then it is the employer’s responsibility to develop a respiratory protection program. “The requirements applicable to construction work under this section are identical to those set forth [for general industry] at 29 CFR 1910.134 of this chapter.” (https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1926/1926.103)

1910 (General Industry): https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.134

1926 (Construction): https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1926/1926.103

1910.134(c)(1):
In any workplace where respirators are necessary to protect the health of the employee or whenever respirators are required by the employer, the employer shall establish and implement a written respiratory protection program with worksite-specific procedures.” There are 9 OSHA required elements of this program:

  1. Procedures for selecting respirators for use in the workplace
  2. Medical evaluations of employees required to use respirators
  3. Fit testing procedures for tight-fitting respirators
  4. Procedures for proper use of respirators in routine and reasonably foreseeable emergency situations
  5. Procedures and schedules for cleaning, disinfecting, storing, inspecting, repairing, discarding, and otherwise maintaining respirators
  6. Procedures to ensure adequate air quality, quantity, and flow of breathing air for atmosphere-supplying respirators
  7. Training of employees in the respiratory hazards to which they are potentially exposed during routine and emergency situations
  8. Training of employees in the proper use of respirators, including putting on and removing them, any limitations on their use, and their maintenance
  9. Procedures for regularly evaluating the effectiveness of the program

1910.134(c)(2)(i):
“An employer may provide respirators at the request of employees or permit employees to use their own respirators, if the employer determines that such respirator use will not in itself create a hazard. If the employer determines that any voluntary respirator use is permissible, the employer shall provide the respirator users with the information contained in Appendix D to this section (“Information for Employees Using Respirators When Not Required Under the Standard”).”

Appendix D to Sec. 1910.134 (Mandatory) Information for Employees Using Respirators When Not Required Under the Standard: https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.134AppD

If you have questions or would like assistance in creating and implementing any element of your respiratory protection program please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone (864.297.4521) or email (info@lifeandsafety.com).

Both the medical evaluation and respiratory protection training can be completed online. More information can be found here: http://lifeandsafety.com/enroll/#!/Respiratory-Protection/c/38135012/offset=0&sort=nameAsc