Millions of workers wear respirators in workplaces across a wide variety of industries to protect against airborne contaminants and poor oxygen environments. But just wearing a respirator is not enough. Respirator users must know how to properly fit, use, inspect, and maintain their respirators to fully protect against respiratory hazards. This course will help you recognize respiratory hazards in your workplace and show you how to use and maintain respirators to keep yourself safe. By the end of the training, you will be able to identify common respiratory hazards and explain why respirators are necessary to protect against these hazards; describe how a respirator operates and recognize the capabilities and limitations of each type of respirator; safely wear and use your respirator; properly inspect, maintain, and store your respirator; recognize emergency situations and medical symptoms that limit the effective use of respirators; and summarize your employer’s obligations under the Respiratory Protection Standard. This course does not address the requirements for employees who voluntarily use respirators or for interior structural firefighters
Why “Respiratory Protection” Matters:
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Respiratory Protection Standard requires employers to train employees required to use respirators before they use a respirator in the workplace for the first time and annually thereafter. The Respiratory Protection Standard is consistently in the top ten most frequently cited OSHA violations. Failure to properly use a respirator can lead to cancer, lung impairment, lung diseases, and even death.
- Respirators protect against hazards like dusts, metal fumes, smoke, solvent vapors, biological hazards, and low oxygen levels.
- Respirators provide clean breathing air to the user by removing contaminants with a filter, sorbent, or catalyst or by supplying breathing air from an uncontaminated source.
- Each time you put on a tight-fitting respirator, perform a user seal check to make sure the respirator is properly positioned on your face and will fully protect you.
- Inspect your respirator before each use and during the cleaning and disinfecting process, and be sure to store it in a clean bag or container to protect it from damage.
- Leave the work area if your respirator malfunctions or you have medical symptoms that may limit or prevent the effective use of the respirator or endanger your health.
- Ask your employer if you’d like to see a copy of its written respiratory protection program, which describes its procedures for respirator selection, use, training, fit testing, maintenance, storage, inspection, and medical evaluations.