A. Coordinator of Safety

B. Department Directors/Division Managers

C. Respirator Wearers

D. Public Safety Training/Plant Operations

E. Jobs Review

  1. F.Physician







A. Inspection/Maintenance

B. Cleaning and Sanitizing

C. Storage


XIII. APPENDIX A - Procedures for Cleaning and Sanitizing Respirators

XIV. APPENDIX B - Respirator Issuing Guide

  1. APPENDIX C - Qualitative Fit Testing Procedures

  3. FORMS:

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









To establish a Respiratory Protection Program for School Board employees.


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.


  1. The Coordinator of Safety is responsible for:
    1. Overall administration of the Respiratory Protection program, including periodic evaluation of the program's effectiveness.
    2. 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.
    3. Providing respirator fit testing and training when requested by user departments/divisions.

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.

  1. Department Directors/Division Heads and Supervisory Personnel who have employees that must wear respirators for protection are responsible for:
    1. Assuring respirators are only used by appropriately trained and qualified personnel.
    2. Assuring appropriate respirators are available to employees for specific hazards.(order through the Coordinator of Safety/Plant Operation 544-6400 ext. 413)
    3. Coordinating with the Safety Officer to schedule fit testing and training for their employees.
    4. Notifying the Safety Office immediately if changes arise in the environment where air purifying respirators are worn.
    5. Notify the Safety Office should the inhalation hazard not be covered by this Operating Procedure.
    6. Ensuring that monthly inspections of emergency use respirators are conducted and documented.
    7. 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 Operations.

8. Enforcing safety regulations which assure proper respirator use.

C. Respirator wearers will:

    1. Ensure their respirator fit test is current for the type of respirator they intend to use prior to wearing any respiratory protection.
    2. Not perform any operation where respiratory protection is required without first wearing the proper respiratory protection for the particular hazard expected to be encountered.
    3. Use the respirator in accordance with instructions and training.
    4. Notify their supervisor of any change in health or medical status that would impact their ability to safely wear a respirator.
    5. Perform the following maintenance and upkeep on their respirators, with a minimum frequency as indicated:
      1. Cleaning and sanitizing - after each use.
      2. Inspection - Before and after use.
      3. Parts replacement and repair - As necessary, when malfunctions and defects are discovered.

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.

    1. 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.
    2. Change the filter, cartridge, or canister when breathing resistance increases or when the odor of the hazardous substance is detected through the device.
    3. Evacuate a hazardous area under any of the following conditions:
      1. Failure of the respirator to provide adequate protection.
      2. Any malfunction of the respirator.
      3. Detection of leakage of air contaminants into or around the face-to-face piece seal of the respirator.
      4. A noticeable increase in resistance of the respirator to breathing.
      5. Severe discomfort in wearing the respirator.
      6. 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:

  1. Periodically initiate a review of job descriptions to ensure those positions requiring the use of respiratory protection accurately reflect this requirement.
  2. 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 protection.

E. The Physician will:

  1. Identify health and physical conditions pertinent to respiratory protection in determining if an employee is physically able to perform their work while using a respirator.
  2. Conduct physical examinations of those School Board employees requiring medical clearance to use respiratory protection.
  3. Complete a Medical Clearance For Respirator Use form.



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)



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 a:

  1. Weight change of 20 pounds or more.
  2. Significant facial scaring in the area of the face piece seal, if the scarring has occurred since the latest fit testing.
  3. Significant dental changes, (i.e. multiple extractions without prosthesis or acquiring dentures.)
  4. 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 user's health.

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)


  1. 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.
  2. Training will be conducted at initial issue fit testing with retraining scheduled periodically. This training will include:
    1. Reasons for respiratory protection, explanation of why other controls and methods are not being used, and explanation of efforts being made to reduce hazards.
    2. Description of the County Respiratory Protection Program and explanation of regulations governing the use of respirators.
    3. Explanation of the respiratory selection procedure used, including identification and evaluation of the hazard.
    4. Description of the respirator.
    5. Limitations, capabilities, and operation of the respirator.
    6. Proper fitting, wearing, adjusting, and removing of the respirator.
    7. How to recognize and cope with an emergency situation.
    8. Proper maintenance and storage methods.


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:

  1. 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 present.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 emergency rescue.


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)