Protecting workers ability to breathe freely in your workplace is one of the most important aspects to maintaining OSHA compliance. However, it is not always easy to determine what level of respiratory protection is necessary. Woodworkers may need to provide dust masks, but so too might machine shops. However, machine shops may need half-face or even full face respirators.
The determination of which level of respiratory protection you need for your business is a factor of two things:
What contaminants or particulates are reducing the air quality of your business; and,
What level of exposure your employees have to the contaminants and particulates that are present.
OSHA stipulates that certain contaminates and particulates have a maximum level of concentration in the air before your business reaches an “action level.” This is usually the point where you are required to perform regular testing of your employee’s health to ensure they are not being adversely affected. You may also be required to provide specific Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
However, having an OSHA compliant Respiratory Protection Program (RPP) is more than having a company come in and do some air quality testing. Your RPP should dictate who is in charge of ensuring Respiratory Protection, what kinds of PPE employees are required to use. The RPP should further mandate what procedures are followed for assessing respiratory hazards and selecting the appropriate PPE.
It is important to note that not just any employee can be provided a Respirator. There are specific health issues that come into play and OSHA is very clear about the process for determining if an employee can be provided a respirator.
We have the experience and knowledge to write your entire RPP cover to cover, if you so choose. We can also provide assistance in selecting respirators as well as determining which areas or processes within your business need specific varieties of respiratory protection.