A respirator is a personal protective device used to protect
the wearer from inhalation of harmful levels of airborne contaminants. The use
of respirators is acceptable only when engineering or work practice controls
(e.g., local exhaust ventilation) are inadequate or not feasible, or while
these controls are being designed or constructed. Respirators must be carefully
selected, properly fitted, regularly inspected and cleaned, and repaired when
broken. Wearers must be medically evaluated for respirator use and trained in
the appropriate use, care, maintenance and limitations of respiratory
protective devices. Work area environments must be periodically evaluated to
determine the appropriate level of respiratory protection necessary.
29 CFR 1910.134 - OSHA Respiratory Protection
NOTE: More specific respiratory protection requirements may be contained
within substance-specific or operation-specific regulations (e.g., asbestos or
Summary of Requirements
- Respirator users shall be
evaluated by a physician to determine if they are physically able to
perform work while using a respirator.
- Respirators shall be selected
based upon the contaminant hazards presented to the wearer.
- Respirators shall be approved
by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for
the contaminant(s) and situation(s) to which the wearer will be exposed.
- All negative pressure
respirators shall be fit-tested at least annually (semi-annually if
required by more restrictive substance-specific standards, i.e., asbestos,
lead), and shall be fit-checked by the wearer before each use.
- Respirators shall be
maintained and repaired in accordance with manufacturers' specifications.
Storage shall be appropriate to protect against damage caused by dust,
sunlight, temperature extremes, moisture, chemicals and
- Compressed air used for
supplied air respirators shall comply with the air quality requirements
for Grade D Breathable Air described in CGA Commodity Specification
- The respiratory Protection
Program shall be reviewed annually with modifications implemented as
· Training shall be provided to all users of respiratory protective
equipment to include:
- Selection of respirators;
- Inspection, maintenance,
storage and cleaning of respirators;
- Respirator limitations and
- Methods of donning, adjusting
and fit-checking (hands-on);
- Respiratory hazards.
Written records shall be maintained for training, fit-testing, medical
examinations and work area surveillance (monitoring) for at least 30 years
following termination of employment for any individual wearing a respirator.
A written program describing the selection and proper use of respirators
shall be available in the facility.