Respiratory Protection Plan
Office of Safety and Environmental
School of Marine Science
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
College of William & Mary
Gloucester Point, Virginia 23062
May 1996 (1st revision)
January 1997 (reviewed)
June 1998 (rewritten)
September 1998 (revised for Web Page)
July 2009 (Updated)
C. Responsibility and Authority
1. Dean and Director
2. Associate Director for Safety and Environmental Programs (Safety Officer)
3. Supervisory Personnel
4. Each Individual
II. RESPIRATOR PROGRAM
B. Procedures for Selecting Respirators for Use in the Workplace
1. Air-Purifying Respirators
2. Atmosphere-Supplying Respirators
C. Medical Surveillance
D. Fit Test Procedures
E. Procedures for the Proper Use of Respirators in Routine and Reasonably Foreseeable Emergency Situations
F. Maintenance and Care of Respirators
H. Training and Information
G. Procedures to Ensure Adequate Air Quality, Quantity, and Flow of Breathing Air for Atmosphere-Supplying Respirators
I. Program Evaluation
J. Record Keeping
Appendix A: Medical Evaluation Questionnaire
Appendix B: User Fit Check Procedures
Appendix C: Respirator Cleaning Procedures
Appendix D to § 1910.134 (Non-Mandatory) Information for Employees Using Respirators When Not Required
RESPIRATORY PROTECTION PLAN
The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements for respiratory protection are presented in 29 CFR 1910.134 and have been adopted by the < w:st="on">Commonwealth of Virginia to assure the protection of all employees from respiratory hazards. The purpose of this plan is to ensure that all personnel and visitors at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science/School of Marine Science (VIMS/SMS) are afforded protection from respiratory hazards. The primary objective is to prevent harmful exposures that might result in occupational diseases caused by breathing air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors. This is accomplished as far as possible by accepted administrative and engineering control measures (for example, general and local ventilation, enclosure or isolation, and substitution of less hazardous processes or materials). When effective engineering controls are not feasible, or while they are being instituted, respirators may be required.
In early 1988 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States Department of Labor issued a revised version of 29 CFR 1910.134 with an effective date of April 8, 1998 and a later compliance date. This Respiratory Protection Plan has been rewritten to reflect the new standard.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) guide to respiratory protection, publication No.87-116, as revised or updated, shall be used as an adjunct reference for the implementation of this program. All respirators used by VIMS/SMS personnel and visitors must meet criteria of NIOSH
All VIMS/SMS personnel are expected to be aware of this program. All VIMS/SMS personnel who perform or who may be called upon to perform any work or research activity which will expose them to airborne hazardous or toxic material, or significant amounts of dusts or mists, shall be thoroughly familiar with the contents of this plan. Persons accepted as official members of the VIMS/SMS Dive Team shall comply with the provisions of the VIMS/SMS Diving Safety Manual regarding the use of SCUBA respirators.
Copies of the Respiratory Protection Plan are available for review in the following locations:
- Office of Safety and Environmental Programs, Clayton Annex, on the VIMS World Wide Web homepage (http://www.vims.edu) click on Administration, then on Safety and Environmental Programs, then on the Respiratory Protection Plan.
This plan covers all faculty, staff, students, contractors, and visitors who may become directly or indirectly involved in any activity within the limits of the VIMS/SMS geographical areas of responsibility or in any activity undertaken as an employee or agent of VIMS/SMS which may require the use of a respirator. This plan is a supplement to the Occupational Safety and Health Plan, and augments the portions of the VIMS/SMS Emergency Response Plan, Fire Prevention Plan, Chemical Hygiene Plan, Hazard Communication Standard Program Plan, Diving Safety Manual, and Radiation Safety Plan dealing with the need for respiratory protection.
The OSHA requirements as outlined in 29 CFR 1910.134(c) for an acceptable respiratory protection program include:
(i) Procedures for selecting respirators for use in the
(ii) Medical evaluations of employees required to use respirators;
(iii) Fit testing procedures for tight-fitting respirators;
(iv) Procedures for proper use of respirators in routine and reasonably foreseeable emergency situations;
(v) Procedures and schedules for cleaning, disinfecting, storing, inspecting, repairing, discarding, and otherwise maintaining respirators;
(vi) Procedures to ensure adequate air quality, quantity, and flow of breathing air for atmosphere-supplying respirators;
(vii) Training of employees in the respiratory hazards to which they are potentially exposed during routine and emergency situations;
(viii) Training of employees in the proper use of respirators, including putting on and removing them, any limitations on their use, and their maintenance; and
(ix) Procedures for regularly evaluating the effectiveness of the program and the
(x)designation of a program administrator who is qualified by training or experience that is commensurate with the complexity of the program to oversee and administer the respiratory protection program and conduct the required evaluations of program effectiveness.
1. Dean and Director
The Dean and Director is responsible for the safety and health of all personnel assigned to VIMS/SMS.
2. Associate Director for Safety and
Environmental Programs (Safety Officer)
The Associate Director for Safety and Environmental Programs (Safety Officer) is directly responsible to the Dean and Director for the VIMS/SMS Respiratory Protection Program and has full authority to make necessary decisions to ensure the success of this program. This authority includes approving equipment purchases necessary to implement and operate the program. The Safety Officer will develop and maintain written detailed instructions covering each of the required elements of this plan, and is the sole person authorized to amend this plan. The Dean and Director has expressly authorized the Safety Officer to halt any operation or activity within the VIMS/SMS geographical areas of responsibility where there is danger of serious personal injury or illness. This authority includes activities with respiratory hazards. The Safety Officer and staff of the Office of Safety and Environmental Programs will provide technical assistance as required and requested to assist individual department and work centers in determining the need for respirators, selection of approved/certified respirators, and scheduling of training and qualitative fit testing.
At the time of writing of this Respiratory Protection Program, the Director for Safety and Environmental Programs is specifically named as the Program Administrator as required under 29CFR1910.134(c)(3).
Supervisory personnel are responsible for ensuring that respirators are available as needed, that personnel assigned to or visiting their areas of responsibility wear respirators as required, for scheduling the inspection of respirators on a regular basis, and for providing the Office of Safety and Environmental Programs with a list of personnel who require initial, semi-annual, and annual training or fitting. Additionally, Supervisory Personnel are responsible for assuring that employees who desire to use respirators for their individual comfort or convenience at times when and in places where respirators are not required contact the Program Administrator and comply with Appendix D to 29 CFR 1910.134, (Non-Mandatory) Information for Employees Using Respirators When Not Required Under the Standard,
4. Each Individual
Each individual is responsible for using the respirator provided to her or him in accordance with instructions and training, for cleaning, disinfecting, inspecting, and storing his or her respirator, and for reporting any respirator malfunction to her or his supervisor. Each individual choosing to use a respirator for personal comfort or convenience at times when and in places where respirators are not required must so inform her or his immediate supervisor and must contact the Program Administrator and comply with Appendix D to 29 CFR 1910.134, (Non-Mandatory) Information for Employees Using Respirators When Not Required Under the Standard.
The purpose of the Respiratory Protection Program is to ensure that viable procedures are established and maintained in accordance with the OSHA requirements mandated in 29 CFR 1910.134 in order to protect the health of all VIMS/SMS personnel and visitors (as required). The responsibilities for the management of this program are as outlined in paragraph I.C. and subsequent taskings as specified throughout this plan.
Whenever possible, administrative and engineering controls that do away with need to use respirators should be developed and implemented.
Choosing the correct equipment involves several steps:
- Identifying the hazard and its extent,
- Choosing equipment that is certified/approved for the function, and
- assuring that the device is performing the function it is intended to perform.
In identifying the hazard it is necessary to assess the work environment by determining the nature and extent of the hazard, work rate, area to be covered, existing space and ventilation, mobility, work requirements and conditions, as well as the limitations and characteristics of the available respirators are selection factors. If a specific standard exists for the hazard (e.g. lead, asbestos), the guidelines or requirements in the standard must be followed. Also the chemical and physical properties of a harmful, irritating, or nuisance airborne material as well as the published Threshold Limit Values (TLV), Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL), or any other available exposure limits or estimates of toxicity for the materials and the amount of oxygen present must be considered.
Although there are many kinds of respirators used for protection, there are two basic types - air-purifying and atmosphere-supplying respirators.
1. Air-Purifying Respirators use filters or absorbents to remove limited concentrations of contaminants from the breathing air. They range from simple disposable masks to half- and full-face respirators to sophisticated positive-pressure, blower-operated units. Air purifying respirators may not be used in an oxygen deficient atmosphere or under immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) conditions. OSHA defines an IDLH atmosphere as any atmosphere that poses an immediate threat to life, would cause irreversible adverse health effects, or would impair an individual's ability to escape from a dangerous atmosphere.
2. Atmosphere-Supplying Respirators are designed to provide breathing air from a clean source outside of the contaminated work area. They include supplied air respirators (SAR) and self contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
The time needed to perform a given task usually determines the length of time for which respiratory protection is needed, including the time necessary to enter and leave a contaminated area. An SCBA or chemical cartridge respirator provides respiratory protection for relatively short periods, whereas an airline respirator provides protection for as long as the face piece is supplied with an adequate quantity of respirable air. For protracted periods of use, positive pressure supplied air respirators offer the advantage of longer use in highly contaminated areas and minimize the need for concerned regarding sensory warning properties of the airborne toxic materials. Positive pressure supplied air respirators also cause less discomfort than air-purifying respirators because the wearer need not overcome filter resistance in order to inhale.
Some type of service life warning indicator is available for all SCBA and some chemical cartridge respirators. The warnings usually are an audible alarm based on remaining pressure for SCBA and a color-change indicator for cartridges. The user must understand the operation and limitations of each type of warning device and of each type of respirator. Air-purifying respirators present minimal interference with the wearer's movement while SCBA present size and weight (35 lbs) penalties.
Three types of respirators generally are available at VIMS for general and type specific uses. The Office of Safety and Environmental Programs must be contacted concerning the selection or use of any type of respirator.
- Negative Pressure Respirators - The air pressure inside the respiratory inlet covering is negative with respect to ambient air during inhalation. Negative Pressure Regulators are the standard half-masks found in most labs and the dust filter masks used by buildings & grounds personnel while cutting grass etc.
- Positive Pressure Respirators - The air pressure inside the respiratory inlet covering normally is positive with respect to ambient air pressure. These are the SCBA utilized by the Office of Safety and Environmental Programs for emergency response operations involving unknown or suspected IDLH hazards or confined space entry/rescue.
- Powered Air Purifying Respirators - A blower is used to force the ambient atmosphere through high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifying elements to the inlet covering. This unit is used for asbestos inspection/removal operations.
The decision to use negative pressure, positive pressure, or powered air purifying respirators will be based on whether or not the work involved will be considered IDLH, has specific respirators designated, or is of a routine nature with published TLV's, PEL's, etc. which can be used to determine the appropriate protection factor (PF).
The VIMS/SMS policy is that NO laboratory, research, maintenance procedure, or work of any sort that requires any type of respirator above the level of a negative pressure full face piece air purifying type will be performed without approval of the Dean and Director and the Associate Director for Safety and Environmental Programs. Requests to exceed this respirator level will be in writing and must provide specific details covering all aspects of the task including the type of chemicals, toxins, etc. which will be involved. Emergency response operations under the direction of the Office of Safety and Environmental Programs are exempt from need for approval from the Dean and Director but must be performed with the highest consideration for the safety of the persons involved.
The Office of Safety and Environmental Programs will provide assistance in determining the correct type respirator for routine use. This assistance will include working with the appropriate staff members to evaluate the respiratory hazards in the particular workplace with regard to selecting the general type of respirator required to assure worker safety under the OSHA standard.
All emergency situations will be handled as IDLH unless the exact type and, if possible, concentration of the substance is known. Any IDLH entry requires one standby person in a safe area with SCBA for each person working in the entry or clean-up phases of the emergency operation.
Each individual who thinks he or she might need to use a respirator must consult with the Office of Safety and Environmental programs. a staff member of that office will review the job requirements, conduct a respiratory hazard assessment, and recommend the appropriate type of respirator for the situation.
OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134(b)(10) states that no one should be assigned a task requiring use of a respirator unless that person is found physically able to do the work while wearing the respirator. In addition, some regulatory standards for specific substances and occupations may also contain requirements for medical examinations. Both types of standards declare that a physician should determine what health and physical conditions are pertinent and that respirator wearers' medical status should be reviewed periodically. Ideally pre-placement medical examinations should identify those persons who are physically or psychologically unfit to wear respirators. As another part of the examination, medical tests pertinent to the respiratory hazards which may be encountered should be made to obtain baseline data against which to assess physiological changes in respirator wearers. In addition, the previous medical and employment histories of the individual should be considered.
It is the policy of VIMS/SMS that a physician determine if a person should or should not wear a respirator.
All VIMS/SMS personnel who may be required to wear respirators in the course of their work or research responsibilities will be provided medical examinations in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.134. The medical examinations will be provided free of charge to the individual and will be scheduled during the course of the work day. Records associated with these examinations are maintained in the Office of Safety and Environmental Programs and are available upon request by the individual concerned. These records are accorded the highest degree of confidentiality.
Appendix A to this plan is the Mandatory Medical Evaluation Questionnaire presented in 29 CFR 1910.134 Appendix C. This questionnaire will be given to each person being evaluated for respirator use and forwarded to the physician. In some cases, after reviewing the questionnaire, the physician might not require a face-to-face meeting or examination, but that decision rests with the physician. If an employee desires to discuss any aspect of the medical evaluation process with the physician, the employee will be allowed to do so during normal working hours as a normal course of employment. The physician performing the medical evaluation also will be provided with a general description of the activities that require a respirator that the employee is likely to perform.
New medical evaluations
will be required of all respirator users
a: At intervals not to exceed four years.
b: Whenever an employee reports medical signs or symptoms that are related to the ability to use a respirator,
c: Whenever the physician, program administrator, or immediate supervisor informs the employee that a reevaluation is necessary,
d: Whenever information from the respiratory protection program indicates a need for reevaluation, and
e: Whenever a change occurs in workplace conditions that many result in a substantial increase in the physiological burden placed on the employee.
This program anticipates that the vast majority of fit tests required will be Qualitative Fit Tests. The individual qualitative fit tests will be administered by a member of the Office of Safety and Environmental Programs who has received training in qualitative fit testing or by other individuals specifically approved by the Program Administrator. Fit tests will follow the protocols set forth in 29 CFR 1910.134(f).
Should Quantitative Fit Tests be necessary, the Program Administrator will assist in locating and contracting with an appropriate facility.
Fit tests will be repeated annually for all persons with a continuing need to use a respirator.
All persons should remember that it is not the employee who passes or fails a fit test, it is the respirator. Employees should be cognizant that "fudging" to pass the fit test puts the employee at risk as a respirator that does not fit properly will not afford the respirator's user the maximum level of protection.
Respirators with tight-fitting facepieces may not be used by employees who have facial hair that comes between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face or that interferes with the function of any component of the respirator or who have any condition that interferes with the face-to-facepiece seal or valve function of the respirator.
If an employee wears corrective glasses or goggles or other personal protective equipment, that equipment must be worn so that it does not interfere with the seal of the facepiece to the face of the user. In the case of employees who need to wear corrective lenses and a fullface respirator, the appropriate corrective lense kit will be provided along with the respirator.
Every user of a tight-fitting respirator is required to perform a user seal check (or fit check) each time the respirator is put on. The user seal check will follow the procedures in Appendix B-1 on 29CFR1910.134 which is reproduced in Appendix B.
The Program Administrator will work to assure that persons knowledgeable of respirator use and the requirements thereof observe employees from time to time as they use respirators so as to enable an ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of respirator use. Should problems be noted, they will be brought promptly to the attention of the Program Administrator who will consult with the employee, the employee's supervisor, and others as necessary to develop procedures to correct the problems and to improve the effectiveness of the respirator.
Employees using respirators will leave the respirator use area
- whenever they need to wash their faces and the respirator facepieces in order to prevent eye or skin irritation associated with respirator use
- if they detect vapor or gas breakthrough in the respirator, changes in breathing resistance, or leakage of the facepiece
- to replace respirator filter or similar elements.
If the employee detects vapor or gas breakthrough, changes in breathing resistance, or leakage of the facepiece, the respirator must be replaced or repaired before the employee is allowed to return to the respirator use area.
As stated above, work in IDLH atmospheres is not anticipated as a regular occurrence at VIMS/SMS. In the event that work is necessary in an IDLH atmosphere the following procedures will be followed.
- The senior member of the Office of Safety and Environmental Programs will appoint or serve as the "Scene Safety Officer" for the project who will remain on site in the immediate proximity of the IDLH area during work within the IDLH area.
- There will be a comparably and fully equipped worker ready immediately outside the IDLH area for each worker in the IDLH area ("one in one out"). The "outside" member of the pair will be trained and equipped to provide effective rescue of the "inside" member of the pair.
- Positive visual, voice, including radio or telephone, or signal line communication will be maintained between the persons inside the IDLH area and their opposite members outside the IDLH area.
- The outside member of the pair may not enter the IDLH area until the Scene Safety Officer has been informed. At theat time, the Scene Safety Officer will provide further assistance as appropriate to the situation.
- All work inside an IDLH atmosphere will utilize positive pressure SCBA or a positive pressure, supplied-air system with an auxiliary ("escape") SCBA.
Respirators will be cleaned, inspected, and maintained in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.134 (h). Although it is the responsibility of the individual respirator user to clean, inspect, and maintain his or her respirator, the employee's immediate supervisor will develop a plan to assure that the appropriate tasks are performed as required.
Appendix C of this document contains the cleaning procedures specified in Appendix B-2 of 29 CFR 1910.134.
VIMS/SMS will make every reasonable effort to assure that compressed breathing air meets or exceeds the standards set in 29CFR1910.134 (j). The normal refill station for compressed breathing air cylinders (SCBA) will be the VIMS Dive Locker which maintains a diving air recharge system that meets standards for Compressed Gas Association "Grade E" breathing air.
The compressed air cylinders will be tested and maintained in accordance with the specifications of 29CFR1910.134(j).
All employees who are
required to use respirators will receive training that includes
(1) Why the respirator is necessary and how improper fit, usage, or maintenance can compromise the protective effect of the respirator;
(2) What the limitations and capabilities of the respirator are;
(3) How to use the respirator effectively in emergency situations, including situations in which the respirator malfunctions;
(4) How to inspect, put on, remove, use, and check the seals of the respirator;
(5) What the procedures are for maintenance and storage of the respirator;
(6) How to recognize medical signs and symptoms that may limit or prevent the effective use of respirators; and
(7) The general requirements of this section.
Training is required before
initial use of respirators and annually thereafter as long as the employee needs
to use a respirator. Additionally, retraining will occur when the following
(1) Changes in the workplace or the type of respirator render previous training obsolete;
(2) Inadequacies in the employee's knowledge or use of the respirator indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill; or
(3) Any other situation arises in which retraining appears necessary to ensure safe respirator use.
In the case of employees who ask to use respirators for reasons of personal comfort (e.g. Trades Utility Workers seeking to use paper dust masks when raking leaves or working in other dusty environments), the basic advisory information on respirators, as presented in Appendix D of this section, shall be provided by the employer in any written or oral format, to employees
The Program Administrator and staff members of the Office of Safety and Environmental programs shall occasionally conduct evaluations of work practices in areas where respirators are required or used in order to ensure that this Respirator Protection Program is properly implemented and effective. These evaluations will include consultation with respirator users to determine their views on the effectiveness of the program and to identify any problems. Factors to be assessed will include
- Respirator fit
- Impact of respirator use on workplace performance
- Appropriate respirator selection
- Proper use of respirators
- Proper maintenance and cleaning of respirators.
General record keeping requirements are listed in 29CFR1910.334(m). Records will be kept in accordance with these regulations in the Office of Safety and Environmental Programs. Medical evaluations will be considered confidential materials.
To the employer: Answers to questions in Section 1, and to question 9 in Section 2 of Part A, do not require a medical examination.
To the employee: Can you read (circle one): yes / no
Your employer must allow you to answer this questionnaire during normal working hours, or at a time and place that is convenient to you. To maintain your confidentiality, your employer or supervisor must not look at or review your answers, and your employer must tell you how to deliver or send this questionnaire to the health care professional who will review it.
Part A. Section 1.( Mandatory) The following information must be provided by every employee who has been selected to use any type of respirator (please print).
1. Today's date:________________________
2. Your name: _______________________________________________
3. Your age (to nearest year):_______
4. Sex (circle one): Male/Female
5. Your height: ____ft. ____ in.
6. Your weight: ______ lbs.
7. Your job title: __________________________________________
8. A phone number where you can be reached by the health care professional who reviews this questionnaire (include the Area Code): ________________________________________________
9. The best time to phone you at this number: _______________
10. Has your employer told you how to contact the health care professional who will review this questionnaire (circle one): yes / no
11. Check the type of
respirator you will use (you can check more than one category):
a. ___ N, R, or P disposable respirator (filter-mask, non-cartridge type only).
b. ___ Other type (for example, half- or full-facepiece type, powered-air purifying, supplied-air, self- contained breathing apparatus).
12. Have you worn a
respirator (circle one): yes / no
If ''yes,'' what type(s): __________________________________________________________________
Part A. Section 2. (Mandatory) Questions 1 through 9 below must be answered by every employee who has been selected to use any type of respirator (please circle ''yes'' or ''no'').
1. Do you currently smoke tobacco, or have you smoked tobacco in the last month: yes / no
2. Have you ever had any of
the following conditions?
a. Seizures (fits): yes / no
b. Diabetes (sugar disease): yes / no
c. Allergic reactions that interfere with your breathing: yes / no
d. Claustrophobia (fear of closed-in places): yes / no
e. Trouble smelling odors: yes / no
3. Have you ever had any of
the following pulmonary or lung problems?
a. Asbestosis: yes / no
b. Asthma: yes / no
c. Chronic bronchitis: yes / no
d. Emphysema: yes / no
e. Pneumonia: yes / no
f. Tuberculosis: yes / no
g. Silicosis: yes / no
h. Pneumothorax (collapsed lung): yes / no
I. Lung cancer: yes / no
j. Broken ribs: yes / no
k. Any chest injuries or surgeries: yes / no
l. Any other lung problem that you've been told about: yes / no
4. Do you currently have
any of the following symptoms of pulmonary or lung illness?
a. Shortness of breath: yes / no
b. Shortness of breath when walking fast on level ground or walking up a slight hill or incline: yes / no
c. Shortness of breath when walking with other people at an ordinary pace on level ground: yes / no
d. Have to stop for breath when walking at your own pace on level ground: yes / no
e. Shortness of breath when washing or dressing yourself: yes / no
f. Shortness of breath that interferes with your job: yes / no
g. Coughing that produces phlegm (thick sputum): yes / no
h. Coughing that wakes you early in the morning: yes / no
I. Coughing that occurs mostly when you are lying down: yes / no
j. Coughing up blood in the last month: yes / no
k. Wheezing: yes / no
l. Wheezing that interferes with your job: yes / no
m. Chest pain when you breathe deeply: yes / no
n. Any other symptoms that you think may be related to lung problems: yes / no
5. Have you ever had any of
the following cardiovascular or heart problems?
a. Heart attack: yes / no
b. Stroke: yes / no
c. Angina: yes / no
d. Heart failure: yes / no
e. Swelling in your legs or feet (not caused by walking): yes / no
f. Heart arrhythmia (heart beating irregularly): yes / no
g. High blood pressure: yes / no
h. Any other heart problem that you've been told about: yes / no
6. Have you ever had any of the following cardiovascular or heart symptoms?
a. Frequent pain or tightness in your chest: yes / no
b. Pain or tightness in your chest during physical activity: yes / no
c. Pain or tightness in your chest that interferes with your job: yes / no
d. In the past two years, have you noticed your heart skipping or missing a beat: yes / no
e. Heartburn or indigestion that is not related to eating: yes / no
f. Any other symptoms that you think may be related to heart or circulation problems: yes / no
7. Do you currently take
medication for any of the following problems?
a. Breathing or lung problems: yes / no
b. Heart trouble: yes / no
c. Blood pressure: yes / no
d. Seizures (fits): yes / no
8. If you've used a
respirator, have you ever had any of the following problems? (If you've never
used a respirator, check the following space and go to question 9:)
a. Eye irritation: yes / no
b. Skin allergies or rashes: yes / no
c. Anxiety: yes / no
d. General weakness or fatigue: yes / no
e. Any other problem that interferes with your use of a respirator: yes / no
9. Would you like to talk to the health care professional who will review this questionnaire about your answers to this questionnaire: yes / no
Questions 10 to 15 below must be answered by every employee who has been selected to use either a full-facepiece respirator or a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). For employees who have been selected to use other types of respirators, answering these questions is voluntary.
10. Have you ever lost vision in either eye (temporarily or permanently): yes / no
11. Do you currently have
any of the following vision problems?
a. Wear contact lenses: yes / no
b. Wear glasses: yes / no
c. Color blind: yes / no
e. Any other eye or vision problem: yes / no
12. Have you ever had an injury to your ears, including a broken ear drum: yes / no
13. Do you currently have
any of the following hearing problems?
a. Difficulty hearing: yes / no
b. Wear a hearing aid: yes / no
c. Any other hearing or ear problem: yes / no
14. Have you ever had a back injury: yes / no
15. Do you currently have
any of the following musculoskeletal problems?
a. Weakness in any of your arms, hands, legs, or feet: yes / no
b. Back pain: yes / no
c. Difficulty fully moving your arms and legs: yes / no
d. Pain or stiffness when you lean forward or backward at the waist: yes / no
e. Difficulty fully moving your head up or down: yes / no
f. Difficulty fully moving your head side to side: yes / no
g. Difficulty bending at your knees: yes / no
h. Difficulty squatting to the ground: yes / no
I. Climbing a flight of stairs or a ladder carrying more than 25 lbs: yes / no
j. Any other muscle or skeletal problem that interferes with using a respirator: yes / no
Part B: Any of the following questions, and other questions not listed, may be added to the questionnaire at the discretion of the health care professional who will review the questionnaire.
1. In your present job, are you working at high altitudes (over 5,000 feet) or in a place that has lower than normal amounts of oxygen: yes / no
If ''yes,'' do you have feelings of dizziness, shortness of breath, pounding in your chest, or other symptoms when you're working under these conditions: yes / no
2. At work or at home, have you ever been exposed to hazardous solvents, hazardous airborne chemicals (e.g., gases, fumes, or dust), or have you come into skin contact with hazardous chemicals: yes / no
If ''yes,'' name the chemicals if you know them: ______________________________________________
3. Have you ever worked
with any of the materials, or under any of the conditions, listed below:
a. Asbestos: yes / no
b. Silica (e.g., in sandblasting): yes / no
c. Tungsten/cobalt (e.g., grinding or welding this material): yes / no
d. Beryllium: yes / no
e. Aluminum: yes / no
f. Coal (for example, mining): yes / no
g. Iron: yes / no
h. Tin: yes / no
i. Dusty environments: yes / no
j. Any other hazardous exposures: yes / no
If ''yes,'' describe these exposures: ______________________________________________________
4. List any second jobs or side businesses you have: _________________________________________
5. List your previous occupations: _________________________________________________________
6. List your current and previous hobbies: __________________________________________________
7. Have you been in the military services? yes / no
If ''yes,'' were you exposed to biological or chemical agents (either in training or combat): yes / no
8. Have you ever worked on a HAZMAT team? yes / no
9. Other than medications for breathing and lung problems, heart trouble, blood pressure, and seizures mentioned earlier in this questionnaire, are you taking any other medications for any reason (including over-the-counter medications): yes / no
If ''yes,'' name the medications if you know them: _____________________________________________
10. Will you be using any
of the following items with your respirator(s)?
a. HEPA Filters: yes / no
b. Canisters (for example, gas masks): yes / no
c. Cartridges: yes / no
11. How often are you
expected to use the respirator(s) (circle ''yes'' or ''no'' for all answers that
apply to you)?:
a. Escape only (no rescue): yes / no
b. Emergency rescue only: yes / no
c. Less than 5 hours per week: yes / no
d. Less than 2 hours per day: yes / no
e. 2 to 4 hours per day: yes / no
f. Over 4 hours per day: yes / no
12. During the period you
are using the respirator(s), is your work effort:
a. Light (less than 200 kcal per hour): Yes/ No
If ''yes,'' how long does this period last during the average shift:_____ hrs. _____ mins.
Examples of a light work effort are sitting while writing, typing, drafting, or performing light assembly work; or standing while operating a drill press (1-3 lbs.) or controlling machines.
b. Moderate (200 to 350 kcal per
hour): yes / no
If ''yes,'' how long does this period last during the average shift: _____ hrs. _____ mins.
Examples of moderate work effort are sitting while nailing or filing; driving a truck or bus in urban traffic; standing while drilling, nailing, performing assembly work, or transferring a moderate load (about 35 lbs.) at trunk level; walking on a level surface about 2 mph or down a 5-degree grade about 3 mph; or pushing a wheelbarrow with a heavy load (about 100 lbs.) on a level surface.
c. Heavy (above 350 kcal
per hour): yes / no
If ''yes,'' how long does this period last during the average shift:_____ hrs. _____ mins.
Examples of heavy work are lifting a heavy load (about 50 lbs.) from the floor to your waist or shoulder; working on a loading dock; shoveling; standing while bricklaying or chipping castings; walking up an 8- degree grade about 2 mph; climbing stairs with a heavy load (about 50 lbs.).
13. Will you be wearing protective clothing and/or equipment (other than the respirator) when you're using your respirator: yes / no
If ''yes,'' describe this protective clothing and/or equipment: _____________________________________
14. Will you be working under hot conditions (temperature exceeding 77° F): yes / no
15. Will you be working under humid conditions: yes / no
16. Describe the work you'll be doing while you're using your respirator(s): ________________________
17. Describe any special or hazardous conditions you might encounter when you're using your respirator(s) (for example, confined spaces, life-threatening gases): ______________________________
18. Provide the following information, if you know it, for each toxic substance that you'll be exposed to when you're using your respirator(s):
Name of the first toxic
Estimated maximum exposure level per shift: _______________________________
Duration of exposure per shift ___________________________________________
Name of the second toxic
Estimated maximum exposure level per shift: _______________________________
Duration of exposure per shift ___________________________________________
Name of the third toxic
Estimated maximum exposure level per shift: _______________________________
Duration of exposure per shift ___________________________________________
The name of any other toxic substances that you'll be exposed to while using your respirator:
19. Describe any special responsibilities you'll have while using your respirator(s) that may affect the safety and well- being of others (for example, rescue, security): ________________________________
Appendix B-1 to § 1910.134: User Seal Check Procedures (Mandatory)
The individual who uses a tight-fitting respirator is to perform a user seal check to ensure that an adequate seal is achieved each time the respirator is put on. Either the positive and negative pressure checks listed in this appendix, or the respirator manufacturer's recommended user seal check method shall be used. User seal checks are not substitutes for qualitative or quantitative fit tests.
I. Facepiece Positive and/or Negative Pressure Checks
A. Positive pressure check. Close off the exhalation valve and exhale gently into the facepiece. The face fit is considered satisfactory if a slight positive pressure can be built up inside the facepiece without any evidence of outward leakage of air at the seal. For most respirators this method of leak testing requires the wearer to first remove the exhalation valve cover before closing off the exhalation valve and then carefully replacing it after the test.
B. Negative pressure check. Close off the inlet opening of the canister or cartridge(s) by covering with the palm of the hand(s) or by replacing the filter seal(s), inhale gently so that the facepiece collapses slightly, and hold the breath for ten seconds. The design of the inlet opening of some cartridges cannot be effectively covered with the palm of the hand. The test can be performed by covering the inlet opening of the cartridge with a thin latex or nitride glove. If the facepiece remains in its slightly collapsed condition and no inward leakage of air is detected, the tightness of the respirator is considered satisfactory.
Recommended User Seal Check Procedures
The respirator manufacturer's recommended procedures for performing a user seal check may be used instead of the positive and/or negative pressure check procedures provided that the employer demonstrates that the manufacturer's procedures are equally effective.
These procedures are provided for employer use when cleaning respirators. They are general in nature, and the employer as an alternative may use the cleaning recommendations provided by the manufacturer of the respirators used by their employees, provided such procedures are as effective as those listed here in Appendix B- 2. Equivalent effectiveness simply means that the procedures used must accomplish the objectives set forth in Appendix B-2, i.e., must ensure that the respirator is properly cleaned and disinfected in a manner that prevents damage to the respirator and does not cause harm to the user.
I. Procedures for Cleaning Respirators
A. Remove filters, cartridges, or canisters. Disassemble facepieces by removing speaking diaphragms, demand and pressure-demand valve assemblies, hoses, or any components recommended by the manufacturer. Discard or repair any defective parts.
B. Wash components in warm (43° C [110° F] maximum) water with a mild detergent or with a cleaner recommended by the manufacturer. A stiff bristle (not wire) brush may be used to facilitate the removal of dirt.
C. Rinse components thoroughly in clean, warm (43° C [110° F] maximum), preferably running water. Drain.
D. When the cleaner used does not
contain a disinfecting agent, respirator components should be immersed for two
minutes in one of the following:
1. Hypochlorite solution (50 ppm of chlorine) made by adding approximately one milliliter of laundry bleach to one liter of water at 43° C (110° F); or,
2. Aqueous solution of iodine (50 ppm iodine) made by adding approximately 0.8 milliliters of tincture of iodine (6-8 grams ammonium and/or potassium iodide/100 cc of 45% alcohol) to one liter of water at 43° C (110° F); or,
3. Other commercially available cleansers of equivalent disinfectant quality when used as directed, if their use is recommended or approved by the respirator manufacturer.
E. Rinse components thoroughly in clean, warm (43° C [110° F] maximum), preferably running water. Drain. The importance of thorough rinsing cannot be overemphasized. Detergents or disinfectants that dry on facepieces may result in dermatitis. In addition, some disinfectants may cause deterioration of rubber or corrosion of metal parts if not completely removed.
F. Components should be hand-dried with a clean lint-free cloth or air-dried.
G. Reassemble facepiece, replacing filters, cartridges, and canisters where necessary.
H. Test the respirator to ensure that all components work properly.
Respirators are an effective method of protection against designated hazards when properly selected and worn. Respirator use is encouraged, even when exposures are below the exposure limit, to provide an additional level of comfort and protection for workers. However, if a respirator is used improperly or not kept clean, the respirator itself can become a hazard to the worker. Sometimes, workers may wear respirators to avoid exposures to hazards, even if the amount of hazardous substance does not exceed the limits set by OSHA standards. If your employer provides respirators for your voluntary use, of if you provide your own respirator, you need to take certain precautions to be sure that the respirator itself does not present a hazard. You should do the following:
1. Read and heed all instructions
provided by the manufacturer on use, maintenance, cleaning and care, and
warnings regarding the respirators limitations.
2. Choose respirators certified for use to protect against the contaminant of concern. NIOSH, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, certifies respirators. A label or statement of certification should appear on the respirator or respirator packaging. It will tell you what the respirator is designed for and how much it will protect you.
3. Do not wear your respirator into atmospheres containing contaminants for which your respirator is not designed to protect against. For example, a respirator designed to filter dust particles will not protect you against gases, vapors, or very small solid particles of fumes or smoke.
4. Keep track of your respirator so that you do not mistakenly use someone else's respirator.