Respiratory Protection

Respiratory protection is used to protect workers from the effects of toxic, corrosive, or irritant vapors; and gases, dusts, mists, fumes, and fibers when engineering controls are not adequate or feasible. Respirators used can range from sample disposable dust masks to more complex supplied air respirators. 

The respirator standard applies to all occupational airborne exposures to contaminated air where the employee is:

  • Exposed to a hazardous level of an airborne contaminant; or
  • Required by the employer to wear respirators; or
  • Permitted to wear respirators.

Four major duties are imposed by each of these standards. These duties are:

  • Use engineering controls where feasible to control the hazard.
  • Provide an appropriate respirator.
  • Ensure the use of an appropriate respirator.
  • Institute a respiratory protection program that complies with the rest of the standard.

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