6 Simple Steps
The following information is intended to highlight major steps involved in setting up a respiratory protection program and identify additional resources.
Employers who decide to use respiratory protection to help lower worker exposures to hazardous airborne contaminants must follow all requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Respiratory Protection Standard 29 CFR 1910.134.
A written program is required for mandatory use of respiratory protection and recommended for voluntary use. OSHA 1910.134(c) states: “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.
Medical evaluation of the employee is required for mandatory use of all respirators or voluntary use of elastomeric facepieces, and recommended for voluntary use of filtering facepieces. 3M Online and Mail-In Respirator Evaluation can be used with all brands and types of respirators.
Fit testing is required for mandatory use of all tight-fitting facepieces and recommended for voluntary use. OSHA 1910.134(f) states: “The employer shall ensure that an employee using a tight-fitting facepiece respirator is fit tested prior to initial use of the respirator, whenever a different respirator facepiece (size, style, model or make) is used, and at least annually thereafter.