Respiratory Protection Programs

Respiratory protection programs
PPE and warnings are part of a Lead Safety Program.

When respirators are required at a worksite, the employer must establish a respiratory protection program in accordance with the OSHA standard on respiratory protection, 29 CFR 1910.134.

Elements that have a more direct impact on the user include knowledge of selection criteria, medical evaluations, procedures for proper use, fit-testing, and maintenance procedures.

Below are the elements of a respiratory protection program:

  • Selection: selecting appropriate respirators for use in the workplace.
  • Training: training employees in the proper use of respirators (including putting them on and removing them), the limitations on their use, and their maintenance.
  • Medical evaluation and surveillance: providing medical evaluation and surveillance of employees who must use respirators.
  • Fit testing: testing tight-fitting respirators for proper fit.
  • Respirator use: using respirators properly in routine situations as well as in reasonably foreseeable emergencies.
  • Inspection: ensuring adequate air supply, quantity, and flow of breathing air for atmosphere-supplying respirators.
  • Maintenance: establishing and adhering to schedules for cleaning, disinfecting, storing, inspecting, repairing, removing from service or discarding, and otherwise maintaining respirators.
  • Program evaluation: regularly evaluating the effectiveness of the program.