Section 4 – Training and Fit-testing Documentation

Table of Contents:

Respiratory Protection Table of Contents

Respirator Selection

  1. Selection of the proper type of respirator shall be in accordance with ANSI V88.2-1980. These criteria shall include:
    1. The nature of the contaminant (skin or eye irritant, skin absorption, warning properties, concentration, health effects, TLV’s).
    2. The nature of the hazardous operation.
    3. Worker activity.
    4. Respirator limitations.
    5. Respirator protection factors.
    6. Respirator approvals.
  2. We have a list of approved respirators for the exposures at our facility. New respirators and replacement parts will be ordered as indicated by the superintendent of buildings and utilities, who is responsible for maintenance and inventory.

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Employee Training and Fit Testing

  1. Training of respirator users shall include the following:
    1. Respiratory hazards and their health effects.
    2. Respirator selection criteria.
    3. Function, capabilities and limitations of selected respirators.
    4. Proper wearing and fit checking.
    5. Respirator maintenance.
    6. Features or conditions which preclude respirator use.
  2. A qualitative fit test will be performed on each respirator user as a part of the employee training and the yearly refresher training. The coordinator of environmental health and safety will conduct and keep records of the training and fit testing.

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Respirator Cleaning Maintenance and Storage

  1. Cleaning and routine inspection and maintenance will be the responsibility of the respirator user. Maintenance shall include:
    1. Cleaning, drying and storing.
    2. Inspection.
    3. Replacement of worn or deteriorated parts.
  2. A record of maintenance shall be maintained with the respirator.

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Respirator Protection Training

  1. For safe use of any respiratory protective device, it is essential that the user be properly instructed in its use. Supervisors and the person issuing respirators, as well as workers, must receive adequate training before use is permitted.
  2. OSHA requires that all employees be trained in the proper use of the devise assigned to them. Many companies have their employees sign a document attesting to their having completed a training session with the respiratory device.
  3. Each respirator wearer should be given training that would include:
    1. Understanding the importance of proper respirator use, and health effects of improper or non-use.
    2. Realizing different respirators and cartridges are needed for different contaminants.
    3. Realizing there are limitations to the type and amount of contaminant for each respirator.
    4. An appreciation of the integrity of the respirator.
    5. Knowing how to wear, clean, maintain, change cartridges on, and store his/her respirators.
    6. Knowing how to test the fit of a respirator each time he/she uses one.

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Respirator Fit-Testing

  1. After close consideration of all the details pertaining to respirator selection, proper protection will not be provided if the respirator face piece does not fit the wearer properly. Do not expect one make and model of respirator to fit the entire work force. Because of the great variety in face sizes and shapes encountered in employees, most respirator manufacturers make their devices available in more than one size. In addition, the size and shape of each face piece varies among the different manufacturers. For these reasons, it is necessary to buy several commercially available respirators and to conduct a respirator fit-testing program. These are also requirements of the OSHA standards.
  2. The OSHA Standard, 29 CFR 1910.134, requires that all negative pressure respirators be fit-tested by exposure to a “test atmosphere.” This includes disposable respirators. This can be achieved by qualitative fit-testing.
  3. A qualitative fit-test relies on the wearer’s subjective response. The test atmosphere is a substance that typically can be detected by the wearer such as isoamyl acetate (banana oil), irritant smoke, or saccharin. The respirator must be equipped to remove the test atmosphere. For example, if using isoamyl acetate, which is an organic chemical that gives off a vapor, an organic-vapor chemical cartridge must be used. In this test situation, assuming the respirator is in good condition, the wearer should not be able to detect the banana oil smell. If odor is detected, the fit is not proper.

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Annual Respirator Qualitative Fit Test and Training

  1. The following employees of St. Olaf College were fit tested using the qualitative fit test for negative pressure respirators, and trained in the proper selection, use, maintenance, repair, and limitations of these respirators.
  • Trainer’s Name:____________________________________ Date:_________________
    Employee Name Employee Signature Medical Approvals: Date/Physician Fit Test
    Respirator: Make/Model
    _________________ _________________ _________________ ________ _________________
    _________________ _________________ _________________ ________ _________________
    _________________ _________________ _________________ ________ _________________


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Questions to Ask Employees to Evaluate Understanding

  1. What contaminant is your respirator designed to protect against?_____________________________________________________________________
    • Is it a dust, fume, mist, vapor, or gas?____________________________________
  2. What would you do if you could smell the contaminant through the respirator? _____________________________________________________________________
    1. Initially
    2. After Working awhile
  3. Describe the positive and negative fit test procedures. ______________________________________________________________________
  4. How do you clean your respirator? ___________________________________________
  5. Can you use parts cleaner/paint thinner to clean off paint? ______________________________________________________________________
  6. Can you use the dust mask for painting? (Or particulate filter, or organic vapor without pre-filter?) ______________________________________________________________________
  7. Do some respirators protect against higher levels of contaminants? Explain. ______________________________________________________________________
  8. Do all contaminants effect the body the same? Explain. ______________________________________________________________________
  9. Do Air Purifying Respirators eliminate all contamination from the breathing air? Explain. ______________________________________________________________________
  10. How often do you clean and change cartridges? ______________________________________________________________________

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