It is the joint responsibility of the supervisor and employee to ensure proper use of respiratory protection required in the specific workplace environment. These responsibilities include prohibiting conditions that may result in face-piece seal leakage, (e.g. facial hair); preventing employees from removing respirators in hazardous environments; and taking action to continue active respirator use throughout the work shift. The user seal checks must be performed, according to manufacturer’s recommendations each time the respirator is put on.
Employees will use their respirators under conditions specified by this program, and in accordance with the training they receive on the use of each particular model. In addition, the respirator shall not be used in a manner for which it is not certified by NIOSH or by its manufacturer.
All employees shall be permitted to leave the work area to remove and inspect their respirator for the following reasons:
- To clean the respirator if the respirator is impeding their ability to work.
- Change filters or cartridges.
- Replace parts or inspect the respirator if it stops working as intended.
- Employees shall notify their supervisor before leaving the work area.
For any malfunction of an air purifying respirator (e.g., such as breakthrough, face-piece leakage, or an improperly working valve), the respirator wearer should inform his or her supervisor that the respirator no longer functions as intended and move to a safe area to service the respirator. The supervisor must ensure that the employee is provided with a new respirator.
For any malfunction of an air supplied respirator (e.g., such as air flow problems, face-piece leakage, or an improperly working regulator), the respirator wearer should leave the contaminated area immediately and inform his or her supervisor that the respirator no longer functions as intended. The supervisor must ensure that the employee is provided with a properly working respirator.