When implementing a mandatory respirator program, be sure to adhere to the applicable stipulations in OSHA’s Respirator Standard, 29 CFR 1910.134. Requiring the use of respirators can be driven by several factors, including a company deciding to require the use of respirators even when exposure levels are below permissible exposure limits.
The very basic requirements for a mandatory program include medical evaluation and clearance prior to the use of respiratory protection, training, and fit testing of the required respirator. These all must be reflected in the written program that establishes how the respiratory protection program will be implemented. A knowledgeable individual must be designated as the program administrator, who is responsible for overseeing the program. As is the case with many EHS program areas, there are specific documentation requirements, including an annual review of the program. Initial and annual training sessions must cover the specified topics in 29 CFR 1910.134.
Be sure your mandatory respirator program is in compliance, and remember that requiring the use of respirators makes this a mandatory program.