Monitoring of the workplace atmosphere should be conducted on a periodic basis to provide for a continuing healthful environment for employees. Personal sampling equipment may be used, in accordance with accepted industrial hygiene standards. Results of these samples will pinpoint areas where respiratory protection is required.
Only respirators, filters, and cartridges approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and used in accordance with their certification shall be chosen for use on the Production. The selection of the respirator is dependent on the airborne contaminant present, the operation being performed, and the comfort and the ease of obtaining a proper individual fit. The useful life of each respirator will vary depending on the job duties, the concentration of contaminant, and the actual time in use. Each type of respirator, filter, or cartridge will have some limitations. Refer to the respirator instructions and approvals for the specific limitations. Air purifying respirators (half-face, full-face filter / cartridge) must only be used in environments with at least 19.5% oxygen.
Prior to any respirator being purchased or distributed for use, the Program Administrator or designee must complete the Respirator Selection Worksheet. This is to ensure that all factors regarding respirator use are considered and the most appropriate respiratory protective equipment is selected. Respirator selection can be determined either by job classification or activity.
Employees shall be allowed to select from a variety of approved respirators having different styles and materials to afford the best fit and comfort of use. The Production shall supply respirators and required accessories at no cost to the employee.
At no time shall an air purifying respirator be approved for use in an atmosphere containing less than 19.5 % oxygen, more than 10 times the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL), or more than 50 % of the level defined as Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH).
At no time shall a loose fitting air supplied respirator be approved for use in an atmosphere containing less than 19.5 % oxygen or more than 50 % of the level defined as IDLH.
At no time shall a tight fitting air supplied respirator be approved for use in an atmosphere containing less than 19.5 % oxygen or more than 50 % of the level defined as IDLH.
In addition, at no time shall any respirator be approved for use if the manufacturer’s use limitation has been exceeded.
Respirators for regular use will be available through the employee’s supervisor at no charge to the employee. Supervisors will distribute the respirators to certified (trained and medically fit) employees as needed.
Replacement respirators, filters, cartridges, or pre-filters will be made available as required pursuant to manufacturer's changeout schedules based on objective information or data. The 3M Respirator Service Life Software offers an easy to use approach for estimating the service life of 3M chemical cartridges and respirators and will be used where appropriate. A list of approved respirators can be found here. The Wood Math Model Table can also be used to determine cartridge changeout schedules.
For supplied air respirators, only Grade D breathing air shall be used in cylinders. The Program Administrator will coordinate deliveries of compressed air with the Production’s current vendor and will require the vendor to certify that the air in the cylinders meets the specifications of Grade D breathing air.