Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - (Archived) Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.134
• Status: Archived

Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

December 4, 1995

Mr. Marvin Dinkel
Industrial Safety Coordinator
Kansas Department of Human Resources
Division of Labor-Management Relations
& Employment Standards
Industrial Safety and Health Section
Accident Prevention Unit
512 S.W. Sixth Avenue
Topeka, Kansas 66603-3174

Dear Mr. Dinkel:

This is in response to your August 21, letter to the Director of Compliance Programs, requesting clarification of the requirements of the Respiratory Protection Standard, 29 CFR 1910.134, as it pertains to employees wearing disposable dust respirators

Ms. Patricia K. Clark's, March 19, 1991 letter remains basically correct, in that, in situations where an over-exposure to a chemical does not exist and the potential for an over-exposure is not anticipated, the employer is not mandated to comply with the Respiratory Protection Standard. However, it should be noted that in some circumstances adverse health conditions can be caused by the wearing of a respirator. Examples of those circumstances include, but are not limited to, (1) the wearing of a dirty respirator that causes dermatitis, or ingestion of a hazardous chemical; (2) the sharing of a respirator that leads to transmittal of disease; (3) an employee's health being jeopardized by the wearing of a respirator (e.g., employee has a cardiac and/or pulmonary disorder). Therefore, it is recommended that training and medical surveillance be considered for all employees who may elect to use a respirator for personal comfort.

We appreciate the opportunity to clarify this matter for you. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact OSHA's Office of Health Compliance Assistance at (202) 219-8036.

Sincerely,




John B. Miles, Jr., Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs




August 21, 1995

Directorate of Compliance Programs
Occupational Safety & Health
Administration
United States Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, Northwest, Room N-3468
Washington, DC 20210

Dear Director:

This letter will initiate a formal request for clarification of the requirements of the Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134), as it pertains to employees wearing disposable dust respirators. I have a response letter to Ms. Teresa R. Presley of Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. dated March 19, 1991 from Patricia K. Clark with your program. Enclosed is a copy of this correspondence.

I understand that training to a degree and a medical opinion is required. However, no written program is indicated. An instructor at Maple Woods OSHA Training Center stated that a written program in this case is required.

Please address the following as it pertains to an employee wearing a respirator for controlling a nonoccupational medical condition or thinks he feels better wearing it even though no potential overexposure to contaminants is present.

1.) Is Ms. Clark's letter correct?

2.) Is a written program required? If so, what should be included?

3.) Does a medical opinion need to be in writing? If so, where should it be filed?

4.) Does a record of training need to be on file?

5.) What are some situations where respirator misuse introduces a hazard?

6.) If an employee is wearing a non-approved single strap dust mask, do all requirements still apply?

In order to help administer respiratory protection programs in the most safe and healthful manner, we are requesting OSHA's clarification and guidance on this manner.

Thank you,




Marvin Dinkel
Industrial Safety Coordinator

Enclosure




March 19, 1991

Ms. Teresa H. Presley
Respirator Protection Coordinator
Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc.
Post Office Box 2008
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831

Dear Ms. Presley:

This is in response to your letter of January 31, concerning disposable dust respirators. You asked whether fit testing, training, and medical evaluation are required when employees use this type of respirator.

All three measures are required if the disposable dust respirator is worn to guard against overexposure to an air contaminant.

If an employee will be working in an environment where there is no potential for overexposure to an occupational air contaminant, but wears a respirator for controlling a nonoccupational medical condition such as an allergy, then testing of the respirator fit is not required. Training is required to the extent necessary to assure the employee does not contaminate the respirator with a toxic substance and create an ingestion or inhalation hazard, and to prevent other situations where respirator misuse introduces a hazard. In addition, before assigning a job to the employee, the employer must obtain a medical opinion that the employee is physically able to perform the work and wear the respirator.

I appreciate the opportunity to clarify this matter for you.

Sincerely,




Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs


Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.


Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - (Archived) Table of Contents