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Respiratory Protection 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires the University to provide respiratory protection to employees when their risk of exposure to hazardous materials cannot be control by other means. The University has established a Respiratory Protection Program that addresses the selection and use of respiratory protection and has provisions for fit testing, training, and medical monitoring of respirator users. This program is administered by EH&S.

Faculty, staff and students considering the need for respiratory protection must first consult with EH&S.

Prior to the assignment of respiratory protection for an individual, EH&S will consider alternative solutions, such as engineering or administrative controls to minimize the risk of exposure. EH&S will conduct exposure measurements subject to the constraints of available sampling and analytical methodologies and will apply the most conservative exposure limit available from organizations such as OSHA, NIOSH, or ACGIH when evaluating the need for respiratory protection.

If EH&S determines that respiratory protection is needed, the individual will be included in the university’s Respiratory Protection Program. This requires EH&S to assign and, on an annual basis, fit the individual with the appropriate device and train them in its proper care, maintenance, inspection and use as required by regulation. The respirator user must complete a medical history form administered by Occupational Health annually. Occupational Health must provide medical clearance for the respirator user annually.

Individuals who have been assigned respiratory protection are expected to clean and maintain the equipment and use it only as approved. Individuals may not loan their assigned respirator to other persons and are advised to keep such equipment secured to prevent its use or misuse by other persons.

When EH&S has determined that respiratory protection is not required or necessary, an individual may not wear respiratory protection unless they participate in the University’s Respiratory Protection Program or agree to the terms for voluntary use (Appendix D).

Supervisors must ensure that employees properly use the assigned respiratory protection.

Additional Information: