Respiratory Protection Services
High EH&S Consulting can assist your organization with all aspects of our respiratory protection compliance programs. Respiratory protection options are one of the last lines of defense and whenever possible other methods to control exposures should be used such as substitution, isolation and ventilation. When respiratory protection is necessary, workplaces regulated by OSHA require that a proper respiratory program be established.
When respirators are used OSHA mandates the following:
1) WRITTEN PROGRAM -
Develop a written program with an assigned and trained program administrator. Conduct an annual program evaluation. The program must cover all the required topics specified in 29 CFR 1910.134. Note that even voluntary use of a tight-fitting respirator by employees required that the employer have a written respiratory protection plan.
2) MEDICAL CLEARANCE -
Employees must be medically cleared to use respirators. Because respirators put a physical demand on the body, medical clearance for their use is required.
3) EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT -
Exposures must be defined to assure that the protection factor (PF) is adequate. Options include Air testing, Models or Other Data can be used. If you are providing employees respirators, you are required to determine the level of exposure to verify that you have obtained the proper respirator. If you need your exposures characterized, see our industrial hygiene services page.
4) TRAINING -
Annual training on specific topics must be completed for individuals who are required to use respirators.
5) FIT-TESTING -
Annual fit-test using either a quantitative or qualitative fit-test must be performed. High EH&S owns both qualitative and quantitative fit-testing equipment. Often fit-testing services are provided following annual training. We must have copies of the medical clearance in order to conduct a fit test. Any respirator with a protection factor greater than 10 must be quantitatively fit-tested in order to use the fit-factor for which it is rated. Quantitative testing requires the use of a fit-testing device such as a port-a-count and is performed by placing a probe into the respirator and measuring external and internal concentrations of contaminants.