Engineering controls and safe work practices are the primary means to prevent
employee over exposure to chemicals. However, when these controls are not feasible
or available, then wearing a respirator may be necessary. Employees who wear
a respirator must be given prior approval by the EHSC. Before a respirator is
issued, a workplace assessment is conducted to identify harmful airborne chemicals.
If respiratory protection is recommended, the employee will undergo medical
approval, training and fit testing. Medical approval, either by physical exam
or confidential medical questionaire, is needed for first time respirator users
and according to guidelines for current respirator
users. These guidelines also pertain to N-95 respirator use.
Each department that uses respirators, including self contained breathing
apparatus (SCBA), must have a written protocol. The protocol must be incorporated
into the safety plan.The department's written program must discuss hazards unique
to their work area. Please be aware that two persons need to be qualified to
use SCBA in order for SCBA to be used in the workplace.
To provide for the protection of North Carolina State University employees from over exposure to chemicals in the workplace according to OSHA Standard 29CFR1910.134.
- Notify EHSC at 515-6862 if there is a possibility of over exposure to a
- Assure than employees who are required to wear respirators receive medical
approval. Refer to 'Guidelines for Respirator Wear'
for information on medical approval. Make certain that the
"Medical Surveillance Statement" is reviewed with employee before
receiving medical exam.
- Maintain any physician reports in a confidential manner. Refer to Medical
Surveillance, Sect. 6, 'Supervisor's Responsibilities' for information
on record keeping.
- Assure that new employees receive training and fit-testing.
- Assure that all employees who are required to wear a respirator receive
annual training and fit-testing. Refer to Respirator
for a schedule of classes.
- Assure that employees who are required to wear SCBA receive annual
training and have written plans for its use.
- Monitor the employee's use of the respirator, including appropriate wear,
cleaning and storage of respirator. Refer to 'Guidelines
for Respirator Wear' for information on the use and care of respirators,
as well as an inventory of respirator equipment including Cartridge and Filter Selection
- Assure that respirators are maintained according to manufacturer's recommendations.
Environmental Health & Safety Center Responsibilities
- Oversee the Respiratory Protection Program for the University.
- Evaluate chemical exposure in the workplace and recommend control measures to reduce exposure.
- Select appropriate respirator for the chemical and exposure situation.
- Conduct training and fit-testing covering the use and care of respirators. Please refer to 'Guidelines for Respirator Wear' for information on the use and care of respirators.
- Act as a liaison with the medical provider and supervisor. Provide feedback to supervisors on medically related information.