The only way to ensure that our employees are aware of the purpose of wearing respirators, and how they are to be worn is to train them. Employee training is an important part of the respiratory protection program and is essential for correct respirator use.
The employee training program provided by the Division of Public Health includes:
- Respiratory hazards to which our employees are potentially exposed during routine and emergency situations, and;
- Proper use of respirators, including putting on and removing them, any limitations on their use, and their maintenance.
Both training parts are provided prior to requiring an employee to use a respirator in the workplace. Designated employees are required to complete refresher training annually.
Seven basic elements of training:
Our employees are trained sufficiently to be able to demonstrate knowledge of at least these seven elements:
- Why the respirator is necessary and how improper fit, usage, or maintenance can compromise the protective effect of the respirator.
- What the limitations and capabilities of the respirator are.
- How to use the respirator effectively in emergency situations, including situations in which the respirator malfunctions.
- How to inspect, put on, remove, use, and check the seals of the respirator.
- What the procedures are for maintenance and storage of the respirator.
- How to recognize medical signs and symptoms that may limit or prevent the effective use of respirators.
- The general requirements of OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard.