eTools Home : Shipyard Employment Scope | Glossary | Additional Resources | Credits
Shipyard Employment eTool: Shipbreaking
General Requirements Shipbuilding Ship Repair Shipbreaking Barge Cleaning

PPE Selection » Respiratory Protection

Figure 2: Supplied Air Hood
Figure 2: Supplied Air Hood.
Figure 3: Air-purifying Respirator
Figure 3: Air-purifying Respirator.

Figure 1: Air-line Respirator
Figure 1: Air-line Respirator.

Respiratory protection is used to protect workers from the effects of toxic, corrosive, or irritant vapors; and gases, dusts, mists, fumes, and fibers when engineering controls are not adequate or feasible. Respirators used can range from sample disposable dust masks to more complex supplied air respirators.
The OSHA Respiratory Protection eTool can provide employers and employees information about:

The OSHA Hierarchy of Controls

  1. Engineering Controls
  2. Administration Controls
  3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Respiratory protection program requirements.
  • Use of respirators.
  • Air monitoring for exposures. 
  • Selection of respirators.
  • Employee training.
  • Fit testing of respirators.
  • Inspection and maintenance of respirators.
  • Medical evaluation of employees using respirators.
  • Breathing air requirements.
Note: There are additional PPE requirements for Health-Related Hazards (such as Lead [29 CFR 1910.1025], Arsenic [29 CFR 1910.1018], Asbestos [29 CFR 1910.1001], and Cadmium [29 CFR 1910.1027]).

Requirements for Respirators
Figure 4:  Abrasive blaster with blast hood
Figure 4: Abrasive blaster with blast hood.

Figure 5: Painter with supplied air respirator
Figure 5: Worker protected with respirator from asbestos fibers.

Figure 6: Clean respirator
Figure 6: Clean respirator.

Figure 7: Dirty respirator
Figure 7: Improper practice - Dirty respirator.
Potential Hazards:

Workers may be exposed to hazardous atmospheres that result in:
  • Being overcome by lack of oxygen.
  • Occupational illness due to long-term low-level exposures (for example asbestos, silica, lead).
  • Acute or systemic illness from exposure to solvents, paints, and cleaners.
  • Acute respiratory damage due to exposure to corrosives (such as acids, gases, mists).
  • Severe illness or even death from inhaling toxic materials (such as hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide).
Requirements and Example Solutions:

Respiratory protection for shipyard employment is covered by 29 CFR 1910.134, which includes the following:
  • "In the control of those occupational diseases caused by breathing air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors, the primary objective shall be to prevent atmospheric contamination. This shall be accomplished as far as feasible by accepted engineering control measures (for example, enclosure or confinement of the operation, general and local ventilation, and substitution of less toxic materials). When effective engineering controls are not feasible, or while they are being instituted, appropriate respirators shall be used pursuant to this section." [29 CFR 1910.134(a)(1)]
  • Respirators must be provided when such equipment is necessary to protect the health of the worker. [29 CFR 1910.134(a)(2)]
  • Respirators which are applicable and suitable for the purpose intended must be provided [29 CFR 1910.134(a)(2)]
  • A respiratory protection program must be established and maintained. [29 CFR 1910.134(a)(2)]
Specific operations that have additional requirements include:
Additional Resources:
Back to Top Back to Top

Accessibility Assistance: Contact the OSHA Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.

eTools Home : Shipyard Employment Scope | Glossary | Additional Resources | Credits