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This information is intended to highlight the major steps involved in setting up a respiratory protection program and identifies additional resources.

Instructions


Guidance for Establishing a Respiratory Protection Program

6 Simple Steps in Establishing a Respiratory Protection Program

  1. Exposure Assessment
  2. Written Respiratory Program
  3. Respirator Selection
  4. Medical Evaluation
  5. Fit Testing
  6. Respirator Training

Introduction

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. The following information is intended to highlight major steps involved in setting up a respiratory protection program and identify additional resources. Those employers considering the use of respirators, and designated respiratory protection program administrators, should carefully read and fully understand the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard prior to issuing respiratory protection to employees.

OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard 29 CFR 1910.134 [Website]


1. Exposure Assessment

OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard 1910.134(d) states: "The employer shall identify and evaluate the respiratory hazard(s) in the workplace; this evaluation shall include a reasonable estimate of employee exposures to respiratory hazard(s) and an identification of the contaminant's chemical state and physical form."

American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) maintains a list of industrial hygienists who contract to do air monitoring (www.aiha.org). In addition, OSHA offers a free consultation program. Information is available at www.osha.gov/dcsp/smallbusiness/consult.html). You can also contact 3M Technical Service at 1-800-243-4630 to find out more about air monitoring solutions.


2. Written Respiratory Program

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."

3M Summary of OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard [PDF 90 KB]

3M Administrative Respiratory Protection Program [PDF 1 MB]


3. Respirator Selection

OSHA requires the employer to evaluate respiratory hazard(s) in the workplace (contaminant and concentration), identify relevant workplace and user factors, and base respirator selection on these factors. The respiratory hazard evaluation includes "a reasonable estimate of employee exposures to respiratory hazard(s)". The respirator type or class is then selected by comparing the employee's exposure to the occupational exposure limit and determining the minimum necessary respirator assigned protection factor. Where the employer cannot identify or reasonably estimate the employee exposure, OSHA requires the employer to consider the atmosphere as IDLH.

3M Online Respirator Selection Software and Respirator Selection Guide [Website]

3M Regulations Update: Assigned Protection Factors


4. Respirator Medical Evaluations

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. OSHA 1910.134(e) states: "The employer shall provide a medical evaluation to determine the employee's ability to use a respirator, before the employee is fit tested or required to use the respirator in the workplace."

3M On-line and Mail-in Respirator Medical Evaluation (For users of all brands and types of respirators. Available in English or Spanish.)

OSHA Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire (Appendix C - Spanish)

3M On-line and Mail-in Respirator Medical Evaluation (For users of all brands and types of respirators. Available in English or Spanish.) http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_LK/OHES_APAC/Home_APAC/
Products/Services
or http://www.RespExam.com


5. Fit Testing

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." Employees issued powered air purifying respirators and supplied air respirators with loose-fitting facepieces, hoods or helmets are not subject to fit testing.

Fit Testing Training Video - English

Fit Testing Training Video - Spanish

3M Product Specific Respirator Fitting Instructions [Website]

3M Qualitative Fit Test Kits and Fit Test Instructions

3M FT-10 (Sweet) Fit Test Kit [Website]

Respirator Fit Test Form

Fit Test Wallet Cards


6. Training

Training is required for mandatory use and recommended for voluntary use of respirators. OSHA 1910.134(k) states: "This paragraph requires the employer to provide effective training to employees who are required to use respirators. The training must be comprehensive, understandable, and recur annually and more often if necessary."

Respirator Training

3M Product Specific Maintenance and Training Videos [Website]

Reusable Respirator Cleaning Instructions

Respiratory Protection Training Program Attendance Roster


Additional Respiratory Protection Information

Establishing a Cartridge Change Schedule

Cartridge Service Life Software [Website]

Cartridge Change Frequently Asked Questions

Appendix D to 29 CFR 1910.134 (Mandatory) Information for Employees Using Respirators When Not Required Under the Standard (English)

Appendix D to 29 CFR 1910.134 (Mandatory) Information for Employees Using Respirators When Not Required Under the Standard (Spanish)

3M Fit Test Policy

3M Technical Data Bulletins [Website]

Regulations and Standards [Website]

3M Media Library (Articles, data sheets, brochures, exploded views, user instructions, newsletters, posters, system matrices, videos, etc.) [Website]

Products


Training Programs

Fit Testing Devices

On-Line Respirator Medical Evaluations

This easy-to-use questionnaire helps establish the worker’s clearance level for using a specific respirator in your work conditions. It can be completed in 15-20 minutes using any computer with internet access, and is available every day, any time, to fit your employees’ schedules. Any respirator brand can be used. You’ll receive immediate notification of clearance as well as on-line recordkeeping to track employee status. Available in English and Spanish.

Respirator Medical Evaluation Flyer [PDF 80 KB]

Who Reviews the Medical Evaluation Document

OSHA Letter of Interpretation [PDF 35 KB]

Mail in Order Form [PDF 72 KB]

Order Now - Respexam.com Webpage


Fit Test Apparatuses

3M™ Qualitative Fit Test Apparatus FT-10, Sweet 1/Case

Buy Fit Testing Products Online Now(link to the us online shop)


Fit Test Wallet Cards

3M™ Respiratory Fit Test wallet cards to use as part of your company's safety program.

Wallet Card  [PDF 10 KB]

Training Videos


Check out our videos to learn how to properly use and maintain equipment.

Detection and Monitoring

Hearing

Respiratory Fit Testing

Respiratory Protection Equipment

Welding

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