Respiratory Protection Program
Regularly, OSHA ranks respiratory protection as one of the most frequently cited standard violation on job sites. As nearly five million American work in harmful airborne material every day, the protection of their lungs is of the highest importance.
The respiratory protection program involves the use of a protective facepiece which covers parts of the face (nose and mouth) or the entire head of an individual to protect against airborne agents. Respiratory protection is vital in any work environment with insufficient oxygen or harmful dust, fog, mists, smoke, spray or vapors.
Why is the respiratory protection program important?
Respirators allow workers to breathe clean air while shielding their lungs from harmful airborne material. Respiratory protection is necessary whenever toxic substances are present in the workplace. The consequences of poor respiratory protection may be severe, resulting in cancer, asbestosis, silicosis, asthma, other lung impairments or even death.
What can employers do to prevent respiratory issues?
OSHA's respirator standard requires employers to establish and maintain an effective respiratory protection program for respirator-wearing employees. As different hazards require specific respirators, employees are responsible for wearing the appropriate respirator and complying with the respiratory protection program.
It is ideal for a worksite to have effective engineering controls, like a ventilation system, to eliminate or reduce harmful or toxic substances. If engineering controls are not feasible, employers must provide respirators and employees must wear them when necessary to protect their health.
Employee's equipment must be properly selected, used and maintained for a particular work environment and contaminant. Moreover, employers must thoroughly train employees in all aspects of respiratory protection programs.
An Established Respiratory Protection Program...
How do you develop an effective an respiratory program?
What questions should I be asking as an employer?