HERNANDO COUNTY SCHOOLS
RESPIRATORY PROTECTION PROGRAM
TABLE OF CONTENTS
II. ORGANIZATIONS AFFECTED
A. Coordinator of Safety
B. Department Directors/Division Managers
C. Respirator Wearers
D. Public Safety Training/Plant Operations
E. Jobs Review
VI. SELECTION OF RESPIRATORS
VII. RESPIRATOR FIT TESTING
- USE OF RESPIRATORS
XI. MEDICAL CLEARANCE
X. MEDICAL SURVEILLANCE
XI. RESPIRATOR CARE
B. Cleaning and Sanitizing
XII. APPLICABLE STANDARDS AND REFERENCES
XIII. APPENDIX A - Procedures for Cleaning and Sanitizing Respirators
XIV. APPENDIX B - Respirator Issuing Guide
- APPENDIX C - Qualitative Fit Testing Procedures
A. Emergency Use Respirator Inspection Checklists
B. Medical Questionnaire For Users of Respirators
C. Medical Clearance for Respirator Use
D. Respirator Fit Testing Record
DEPARTMENT: Plant Operations
PREPARED BY: Coordinator of Safety
HERNANDO COUNTY SCHOOLS
SAFE OPERATING PROCEDURE
RESPIRATORY PROTECTION PROGRAM
To establish a Respiratory Protection Program for School Board employees.
II. ORGANIZATIONS AFFECTED:
All departments, cost centers, and employees full or part time.
To prevent inadvertent injury of School Board employees as the result of acute or
chronic exposure to airborne toxic substances or other respiratory hazards such as oxygen
deficient atmospheres and to comply with State and Federal requirements for establishing a
Respiratory Protection Program and procedures.
The protection of School Board employees from airborne health hazards
in the work place is a matter of concern for School Boards Management. Once an assessment
of a situation has determined that inhalation hazards are present in a work place,
attempts should be made, as feasible, to use engineer or work practice controls to reduce
or eliminate hazards. Options available include removing or isolating workers from
hazards. The installation of exhaust ventilation and/or replacement of hazardous
substances with substances that are non hazardous or less hazardous. At times it will not
be possible to adequately reduce or eliminate the hazard and the proper use of respirators
will become necessary.
NOTE: Respirators are the least satisfactory means of exposure control,
because they provide good protection only if they are properly selected, properly fitted,
worn by employees, and replaced when their service life is over. Additionally, some
employees may not be able to wear a respirator. For example, some
employees may have decreased cardiac or pulmonary wellness and would be
at risk of injury during the normal course of their duties with the added stress a
respirator could place on their system. For some County employees respirators are the only
form of protection available. This includes maintenance personnel during maintenance or
repair of certain equipment and emergency response team members, including fire service
technicians who are exposed to a wide variety of hazardous environments. Respiratory
protective devices vary in design, equipment specifications, application, and protective
capabilities. Proper selection depends on the toxic substance encountered, conditions of
exposure, human capabilities, and equipment fit.
WARNING: Some airborne toxic substances are dangerous to other body systems, in
addition to respiratory entrance routes. Some are so active they can penetrate the skin.
In such cases, further precautions will be required in addition to the use of respirators.
- The Coordinator of Safety is responsible for:
- Overall administration of the Respiratory Protection program, including periodic
evaluation of the program's effectiveness.
- Technical assistance to Department Directors/Division Managers and supervisory personnel
in determining the need for respirators and the selection of appropriate types of
respirators and associated equipment.
- Providing respirator fit testing and training when requested by user
NOTE: Regarding Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA's) Public Safety Training;
Plant Operations is available by prior arrangement to conduct training on their use,
operation and limitations.
4. Establishing and maintaining a medical review and fit testing file on employee's fit
tested for respirator use.
5. Periodically re-administering the Medical Questionnaire form or Respirators form
following initial fit testing.
6. Enforcing safety regulations which assure proper respiratory use.
- Department Directors/Division Heads and Supervisory Personnel who have employees
that must wear respirators for protection are responsible for:
- Assuring respirators are only used by appropriately trained and qualified personnel.
- Assuring appropriate respirators are available to employees for specific hazards.(order
through the Coordinator of Safety/Plant Operation 544-6400 ext. 413)
- Coordinating with the Safety Officer to schedule fit testing and training for their
- Notifying the Safety Office immediately if changes arise in the environment where air
purifying respirators are worn.
- Notify the Safety Office should the inhalation hazard not be covered by this Operating
- Ensuring that monthly inspections of emergency use respirators are conducted and
- Overseeing correct performance of maintenance on respirators at proper intervals.
NOTE: Regarding SCBA's - Airflow performance testing and other maintenance may
be available by prior arrangement through the Public Safety Training / Plant
8. Enforcing safety regulations which assure proper respirator use.
C. Respirator wearers will:
- Ensure their respirator fit test is current for the type of respirator they intend to
use prior to wearing any respiratory protection.
- Not perform any operation where respiratory protection is required without first wearing
the proper respiratory protection for the particular hazard expected to be encountered.
- Use the respirator in accordance with instructions and training.
- Notify their supervisor of any change in health or medical status that would impact
their ability to safely wear a respirator.
- Perform the following maintenance and upkeep on their respirators, with a minimum
frequency as indicated:
- Cleaning and sanitizing - after each use.
- Inspection - Before and after use.
- Parts replacement and repair - As necessary, when malfunctions and defects are
NOTE: "Replacement or repairs shall be done only by experienced
persons with parts designed for the respirator. No attempt shall be made to replace
components or to make adjustment or repairs beyond the manufacturer's recommendations.
Reducing or admission valves or regulators shall be returned to the manufacturer or to a
trained technician for adjustment or repair." 29 CFR 1910.134(f) (4)
d. Storage - When not in use, respirators shall be stored in their
initial or other durable packaging which will be free from dust, sunlight, extreme cold or
heat, excessive moisture, damaging chemicals and the distortion of their parts.
- Check the face-to-face piece seal by appropriate means (negative-pressure sealing test
and positive-pressure sealing test) prior to entering a contaminated atmosphere.
- Change the filter, cartridge, or canister when breathing resistance increases or when
the odor of the hazardous substance is detected through the device.
- Evacuate a hazardous area under any of the following conditions:
- Failure of the respirator to provide adequate protection.
- Any malfunction of the respirator.
- Detection of leakage of air contaminants into or around the face-to-face piece seal of
- A noticeable increase in resistance of the respirator to breathing.
- Severe discomfort in wearing the respirator.
- Illness, including a sensation of dizziness, nausea, weakness, breathing difficulty,
coughing, sneezing, vomiting, fever or chills.
9. Notify supervisory personnel and the Public Safety Office immediately if changes
arise in the environment where respirators are worn.
Coordinator of Safety/Plant Operations is responsible for training, certification
and equipment care/maintenance for Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA's) used by
School Board employees.
D. The Coordinator of Safety will:
- Periodically initiate a review of job descriptions to ensure those positions requiring
the use of respiratory protection accurately reflect this requirement.
- Ensure prospective School Board employees being hired to positions where respiratory
protection is required are medically screened by the County Physician prior to the
commencement of their duties to ensure they are physically able to wear respiratory
E. The Physician will:
- Identify health and physical conditions pertinent to respiratory protection in
determining if an employee is physically able to perform their work while using a
- Conduct physical examinations of those School Board employees requiring medical
clearance to use respiratory protection.
- Complete a Medical Clearance For Respirator Use form.
V. SELECTION OF RESPIRATORS:
Only National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health-Mine Safety
Health Administration (NIOSH-MSHA) approved respirators will be used. Refer to Appendix B
for guidance on acceptable types of respirators and filter/canisters. Department Heads
Directors/Division Managers and supervisors shall coordinate with the Coordinator of
Safety to obtain their respirators and supplies.
NOTE: "Providing respiratory protection for individuals wearing
corrective glasses is a serious problem. A proper seal cannot be established if the temple
bars of eye glasses extend through the sealing edge of the full face piece. As a temporary
measure, glasses with short temple bats or without temple bats may be taped to the
wearer's head. Wearing of contact lenses in contaminated atmospheres with a Respirator
shall not be allowed. Systems have been developed for mounting corrective lenses inside
full face pieces." - 29 CFR 1910.134(e) (5)(ii)
- RESPIRATOR FIT TESTING:
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standard 29
CFR 1910.134, requires that all negative pressure respirators be fit-tested by exposure to
a "test atmosphere." One of the three generally accepted protocols of
qualitative fit testing as described in Appendix C will be used. Which of the
three methods that is selected will be based on the type of respirator
being fitted and the employee's capabilities.
Qualitative fit testing will be repeated at least annually and whenever an employee has
- Weight change of 20 pounds or more.
- Significant facial scaring in the area of the face piece seal, if the scarring has
occurred since the latest fit testing.
- Significant dental changes, (i.e. multiple extractions without prosthesis or acquiring
- Any other condition which may interfere with face piece sealing.
The Safety Office must have both the Medical Questionnaire for Users of
Respirators form and the Medical Clearance for Respirator Use form on file prior to
completing respirator fit testing. The Safety Office will periodically update the Medical
Questionnaire to ensure the respirator users medical status has not
changed and to ensure that the annual fit testing will not endanger the
All personnel successfully completing respirator fit testing will be issued a Safety
Office Fit Testing Record (wallet card).
WARNING: "Respirators shall not be worn when conditions prevent a good face seal.
Such conditions may be a growth of beard, sideburns, a skull cap that projects under the
face piece, or temple pieces on glasses. Also, the absence of one or both dentures can
seriously affect the fit of a face piece.29 CFR 1910.134(e) (5) (i)
- Every School Board employee required to wear a respirator will be trained and certified
in the proper use and fit of the respirator. Both the employee and their supervisor will
receive this training.
- Training will be conducted at initial issue fit testing with retraining scheduled
periodically. This training will include:
- Reasons for respiratory protection, explanation of why other controls and methods are
not being used, and explanation of efforts being made to reduce hazards.
- Description of the County Respiratory Protection Program and explanation of regulations
governing the use of respirators.
- Explanation of the respiratory selection procedure used, including identification and
evaluation of the hazard.
- Description of the respirator.
- Limitations, capabilities, and operation of the respirator.
- Proper fitting, wearing, adjusting, and removing of the respirator.
- How to recognize and cope with an emergency situation.
- Proper maintenance and storage methods.
IX. USE OF RESPIRATORS:
In addition to the requirements for the proper selection and use of
respirators by trained personnel as discussed above, the following additional precautions
must be followed to ensure the safety of employees working in hazardous atmospheres:
- In areas where the wearer, with failure of the respirator, could be overcome by a toxic
or oxygen deficient atmosphere, at least one additional person shall be present.
Communications (visual or signal line) shall be maintained between both or all individuals
- When self-contained breathing apparatus or hose masks with blowers are used in
atmospheres immediately dangerous to life or health, standby personnel must be present
with suitable rescue equipment.
- Persons using air-line respirators in atmospheres immediately hazardous to life or
health shall be equipped with safety harnesses and safety lines for lifting or removing
persons from hazardous atmospheres shall be used. A standby person or persons with
suitable self-contained breathing apparatus shall be at the nearest fresh air base for
X. MEDICAL CLEARANCE:
Only those persons who are physically able to perform the work and use
the equipment should be assigned tasks requiring respirators. "Before being assigned
to a task requiring use of a respirator, an employee must have a medical examination. The
breathing resistance created by a respirator could cause employees with certain lung
deficiencies to suffer a heart attack." OSHA Publication #2095 (issued 1974)