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Respirator & Fit Testing Program

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Respirator & Fit Testing Program

According to California’s Title 8 General Industry Safety Orders §5144 and Title 29, 1910.134, any company utilizing respirators or providing them to employees must establish a comprehensive Respirator Training & Fit Testing Program. This program encompasses critical elements, including annual fit testing and training for respirator users, along with an annual medical evaluation.

At CDMS, we specialize in crafting tailored Respirator Programs that align with regulatory requirements, ensuring the highest level of safety for your workforce. Our service encompasses the development of a comprehensive written Respirator Program, addressing vital components such as respirator selection, usage procedures, employee training, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, storage, inspection, and program evaluation. Moreover, we ensure that employees have the physical capability to safely use respirators.

With CDMS, your company can rest assured that your Respirator Training & Fit Testing Program will not only fulfill legal obligations but also promote a secure and healthy work environment for all.

Regulatory bodies
  • Occupational Safety & Health Association (OSHA)
  • California Occupational Safety & Health Association (Cal/OSHA)
  • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Who needs it

Any company that uses respirators, or offers respirators to use, must have a written respirator program in place. In addition, employees who use respirators must:

  • Be fit tested and trained annually.
  • Have an annual Medical Evaluation.
Regulation reference
  • 29 CFR 1910.134
  • Title 8 CCR 5144
  • 42 CFR 84
What our service provides:

CDMS will develop a written Respirator Program for the Client to satisfy requirements of California’s Title 8 General Industry Safety Orders §5144 and Title 29, 1910.134.

The Program will address the following:

1. Selection of respirators

2. Procedures for the use of respirators

3. Employee Training

4. Cleaning and Disinfecting Respirators

5. Storage of Respirators

6. Inspection

7. Proper working conditions

8. Evaluation of the Respirator Program

9. Physical ability to use Respirators

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Why is a Respirator Training & Fit Testing Program necessary?
This program is essential to ensure that employees can properly use respirators, that the respirators fit correctly, and that employees understand the associated health risks.

Who needs to have a Respirator Program in California?
Any company that uses or provides respirators to employees must establish a written Respirator Program in accordance with California’s Title 8 General Industry Safety Orders §5144.

What is fit testing, and why is it required?
Fit testing assesses the seal and fit of a respirator on an individual’s face. It ensures that the respirator provides a proper seal, preventing the inhalation of harmful contaminants.

How often must fit testing be conducted?
Initial fit testing is required before first use. Annual fit testing must be completed thereafter.

Are there different types of respirator fit tests?
Yes, there are qualitative and quantitative fit tests. Qualitative tests rely on the sense of taste or smell, while quantitative tests use instrumentation to measure leakage.

What respirator selection criteria should be considered?
Respirator selection should be based on workplace hazards, the type of respirator needed (e.g., N95, half-mask, full-face), and the individual employee’s facial characteristics.

How can employees determine the correct respirator size and model for their face?
Respirator manufacturers often provide guidance on sizing and models. Fit testing helps determine the correct size and type for individual employees.

What methods can be used for fit testing?
Quantitative methods such as ambient aerosol, CNP, or controlled negative pressure are preferred over qualitative methods.

When is additional fit testing required?
If there are changes to the respirator model/size or changes in user physical condition affecting fit.

Are employees required to wear a respirator at all times when exposed to hazards?
Respirator use is generally only required when other engineering controls or work practices cannot adequately reduce exposure to hazards.

How often should respirators be inspected and cleaned?
Respirators should be inspected before each use and cleaned and disinfected according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. They should also be inspected after cleaning.

What is the role of the Respirator Program Administrator?
The Respirator Program Administrator is responsible for program development, implementation, and ensuring that fit testing and training are conducted as required.

Can employees provide their own respirators?
No, the employer must provide respirators selected based on hazards per the written program.

When are medical evaluations required for respirator users?
Before fit testing and use for negative pressure respirators. Optional for voluntary filtering facepiece users.

What are common mistakes made with respirator programs?
No fit testing, improper storage, dirty respirators, inadequate inspection, lack of required training.

Who can conduct quantitative respirator fit testing?
Individuals able to demonstrate competency in the test procedures. Please Contact Us to get support or request a Respirator Training & Fit Testing Training. Our skilled team of EH&S specialists is ready to assist you.

Are employees allowed to wear tight-fitting respirators if they have facial hair?
No, facial hair in the seal area is prohibited as it prevents an effective seal.

How often must air-purifying respirator cartridges be changed?
Cartridges must be replaced per change schedule based on exposure, or sooner if smell/taste detected.

What are the medical evaluation requirements?
Determination by physician if user is physically able to wear the selected respirator without adverse health impacts.

Does N95 respirator usage require a written program and fit test?
Yes, all tight-fitting negative pressure respirators require a full compliant program per Occupational Safety & Health Association (OSHA).