NOTE: This is a reproduction of previously created content. During the coronavirus pandemic, OSHA has issued temporary respiratory fit guidance that may affect enforcement.

OSHA consistently ranks respiratory protection in the Top 5 most frequently cited standards on worksites. Too often, companies bypass the requirements of OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard 29 CFR 1910.134, resulting in thousands of annual violations. There were more than 2,800 violations in 2019. 

The expression “the devil is in the details” may have been made for OSHA requirements, and the Respiratory Protection standard is no exception. With 13 sections running from (a) to (m), there are numerous rules and regulations to follow.

Looking deeper into the violations, a few specific sections are causing safety managers to trip, no pun intended. Read on and discover two of the most frequently violated issues and how Examinetics can help.

Medical Evaluation 

Too often, medically unfit employees wear facepieces on the job, leading to potential sickness, health risks and OSHA 300 recordables. To avoid this, it is imperative to carefully follow 29 CFR 1910.134 section (e) regarding medical evaluations. Before fit testing and use, all respirator-wearing workers need to receive a medical evaluation and clearance status. This is the most violated section in the standard, resulting in more than 500 citations in 2019.

Examinetics offers a convenient and time-saving option - online respirator clearance evaluation via medical questionnaire. Through easy online access, the respirator clearance process is simple and convenient. Employees access a medical questionnaire at their preferred time and are done in 15-20 minutes.

The Examinetics clearance process is three simple steps:

1. Examinetics sends a link to you providing access to the medical questionnaire. You simply distribute the link to all respirator-wearing employees to access the test.

2. Employees answer a series of “yes” and “no” questions listed in the questionnaire. Typically, the evaluations take 15-20 minutes to complete.

3. After completion, employees immediately receive clearance results, while you receive notification of your employees’ status. You have instant access to evaluation results through XM Solutions, our data management platform.

Fit Testing

On the job, employees must wear tight-fitted, appropriate facepieces. Too often, employees wear loose-fitting respirators, providing inadequate protection against harmful airborne material and potentially causing various health issues. Respirators are never a “one size fits all” solution due to an employee’s physical condition and other factors such as weight, facial scarring and dental procedures.

It's imperative to follow 29 CFR 1910.134 section (f), which highlights the need for fit testing before the use of any respirator, regardless of the size, style, make and model. Moreover, facepiece testing must occur annually. This another section of the standard that results in hundreds of citations each year.

Finding time to release your employees for clinical fit tests can be quite a challenge as it can disrupt productivity, reduce efficiency and drag on your budget. This is probably why so many employers run afoul of the regulations. But you can now say goodbye to lost productivity caused by offsite clinic visits. Examinetics delivers qualitative fit testing and quantitative fit testing, as well as pulmonary function tests, directly to your front door. Partnering with Examinetics gives you access to experts and resources to help you navigate regulations and services. Our fleet of mobile units and our team of health specialists, schedulers and program managers are at your disposal for your compliance needs nationwide. Get peace of mind with Examinetics today. 


This is business-to-business information intended for EHS (environmental health and safety) professionals and not intended for the final consumer. Companies should check the local regulatory status of any claim according to their individual needs, requirements and intended use.