How do I know if the Respiratory Protection standard applies to me?

An atmosphere is hazardous if it does not contain sufficient oxygen, or if it contains chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants in sufficient quantity to harm the health of employees. For example, information on the type and levels of hazardous airborne exposures in your workplace and on the engineering and administrative controls available to you should be used when evaluating the need for a respirator program.

The vendor who supplies your engineering controls may be able to help you determine whether the controls will adequately protect your employees from respiratory hazards. You must evaluate the level of contamination in your workplace after the engineering controls are installed. You must base selections of respirators on the hazards to which your employees are exposed and must consider how workplace and user factors affect respirator performance and reliability.

Workplace factors refer to the actual workplace facility and its geographic characteristics, among other factors. User factors refer to the distinguishing characteristics of the individual employee. Some examples include the following:
  • The level of the contaminant in relation to the Assigned Protection Factors (APFs) of available respirators.
  • The conditions of the workplace (e.g., size, configuration, temperature, humidity) of the workspace.
  • Ease of employee communication.
  • Ease or difficulty of the work or rate of activity.
  • The type of workplace tasks and proximity to the source of contamination (e.g., cutting wood on a band saw would differ from hand polishing a wood veneer on furniture).
  • The location and movement of other personnel and equipment.
Please visit our web site for Respiratory safety training materials and other resources.

1 comment:

  1. Don't forget about The EPA's new lead paint initiative. Contractors performing remodeling or even painting the interiors of older homes and structures are exposed to lead.