All types of workers — farmers, painters, mill workers and lab technicians alike — may be at risk for inhaling hazardous, contaminated air particles during the course of their workday. If this is the case for your employees, and your company is covered by OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard, 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I, then you must take appropriate action to protect your workers.
This could mean implementing engineering controls to mitigate airborne hazards, but if that’s not effective or possible, then you must equip your employees with effective respiratory protection equipment.
Penalties for non-compliance are real; violations of the Respiratory Protection Standard ranked #4 on OSHA's Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards list in 2010.
Having respirators onsite doesn't automatically make you compliant with the standard, you must train employees on how to use the equipment and must have a written respiratory protection program in place that includes your worksite-specific procedures.
According to the CDC, a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) survey found that 42 percent of program administrators at respiratory-using establishments had no specific respirator training and 40 percent of respirator-using establishments did not provide required respirator training to their employees. Moreover, the study found that of the establishments using respirators, 90 percent had at least one indicator of an inadequate respiratory protection program, and more than 45 percent had at least five indicators.
This month’s featured on-demand training course can help you meet compliance with OSHA’s Respiratory Standard and ensure the safety of your most important asset — your employees. The course provides training on respiratory hazards, protection methods and safe work practices.
Course Coverage: Employee and employer responsibilities; the operation, limitations, and capabilities of respirators; respirator selection procedures; proper respirator use and inspection; maintenance, cleaning and storage practices; and how to recognize respirator malfunction and the correct follow-up procedures
Primary Regs: OSHA 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I, Respiratory Protection