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)
1910.134(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:
Procedures for selecting respirators for use in the workplace
Medical evaluations of employees required to use respirators
Fit testing procedures for tight-fitting respirators
Procedures for proper use of respirators in routine and reasonably foreseeable emergency situations
Procedures and schedules for cleaning, disinfecting, storing, inspecting, repairing, discarding, and otherwise maintaining respirators
Procedures to ensure adequate air quality, quantity, and flow of breathing air for atmosphere-supplying respirators
Training of employees in the respiratory hazards to which they are potentially exposed during routine and emergency situations
Training of employees in the proper use of respirators, including putting on and removing them, any limitations on their use, and their maintenance
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”).”
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Over the last month we’ve seen a lot of changes take place in how we conduct business. From interfacing with the public to working from home, the face and features of our workplace have been drastically altered. Keeping up with the continually updating information, recommendations, and speculation that we receive daily has been overwhelming and can be more than a little confusing.
Our safety consultants, TC Gore and Joe Woodman, have been working diligently with clients to help them respond to current needs and prepare for what comes next. They’ve done this by taking their extensive medical and bio-hazard experience that they both have and coupling that with constant attention to the ever changing data coming from the CDC, OSHA, and other agencies and digesting all that information into meaningful and actionable next steps.
On Wednesday April 1st we hosted a a quick lunch and learn during which TC and Joe discussed what they’re doing to help business react and prepare for what comes next.
In October of 2011 I started with Life and Safety and now, 8
years later, have seen our online services grow from a small OSHA 10 and 30
reseller service to a department that develops custom online training solutions
for employee and contractor orientation as well as site and task specific training.
Inspections, Audits, Observations, and Assessments
Life and Safety creates custom training solutions for our clients and over the past 5 years we’ve built digital inspection solutions that allow operators and inspectors to complete their checklists on a smart device while in the field. There’s no need to carry a clipboard, complete paper forms, carry it back to the office, review the findings, forward for remediation, or file for retention. Everything is digital and stored in a database with immediate notification of deficiencies and the opportunity to respond effectively and efficiently to trouble areas while at the same time incentivizing positive behaviors such as completing inspections, audits, observations, and assessments.
Training Transcript Management
The newest tool we’ve added is the ability to access contractor
training records immediately from anywhere. Instead of relying on wallet cards
or word of mouth the contractor has a scannable code on their ID badge, hardhat,
or something equally as accessible. The safety person can then scan that code
and access all their training while verifying that they are trained to do their
On the Horizon
We are continuously improving our online tools and processes
with a few projects currently under development. The most exciting new tool we’re
working on is an ISO certification process management tool. With it you’ll be
able to manage your documentation and access it easily much in the same way
that our contractor transcript tool works. More details about this new tool will
become available after the first of the year.
Thank you to all our clients who have and continue to help us
test and build these tools for safety.
Safety, like anything else, has transformed throughout recent years with the addition of technological advances and improvements. Read how a once OSHA auditor in the 1990’s view this transformation, and it’s impact for the better.
My teenage kids think I worked in the dark ages when I started my career in the early 1990s, and when I look back on how technology has changed the work environment, I have to agree. How did we function?
I started my safety career working with OSHA as a compliance officer in the early 1990s and everything was manual! We took pictures with black-and-white film and handwrote reports. I did not even know what a computer mouse was and I had never heard of email before I left OSHA in 1995. How did I complete the paperwork for a citation when I worked with OSHA?
Read more about how technology has transformed Safety in David Lynn’s article for EHS Today: