Figure 2: Supplied air hood.
Figure 3: Air-purifying 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.
OSHA's Respiratory Protection publication (OSHA 3352) and Respiratory Protection eTool can
provide employers and employees information about:
Figure 1: Air-line respirator.
Hierarchy of Controls
- Engineering Controls
- Administration Controls
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Note: There are additional PPE
hazards (such as Lead [29 CFR 1910.1025],
Arsenic [29 CFR 1910.1018], Asbestos
[29 CFR 1910.1001],
[29 CFR 1910.1027]).
- 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.
|Requirements for Respirators
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Figure 4: Abrasive blaster with
Figure 5: Painter with supplied air respirator.
Figure 6: Clean respirator.
Figure 7: Improper practice - Dirty respirator.
Workers may be exposed to hazardous
atmospheres that result in:
Requirements and Example Solutions:
Respiratory protection for shipyard employment is covered
by 29 CFR 1910.134, which includes the
- Being overcome by lack of oxygen.
- Occupational illness due to long-term low-level exposures (for
asbestos, silica, lead).
- Acute or systemic illness from exposure to solvents, paints, and
- 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).
Specific operations that have additional
- "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)]
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