Need for Respirators: When the atmosphere cannot be controlled, or while engineering controls are being put in place to help control the atmosphere, appropriate respirators must be used.

Engineering controls: To prevent illness or diseases caused by breathing hazardous air in the workplace, you must use engineering controls to the extent feasible to prevent contamination of the workplace atmosphere. When engineering controls are not feasible, or while engineering controls are being put in place, appropriate respirators must be used.

Respirator selection: The employer must evaluate respiratory hazard(s) in the workplace, identify relevant workplace and user factors, and base respirator selection on these factors. The hazards determine use of respirators in IDLH atmospheres, and limits the selection and use of air-purifying respirators. This is determined by using our Altair 5 as well as reviewing SDS sheets.

General guidelines for selection: Selections of respirators on the hazards to which your employees are exposed and must consider how workplace and user factors affect respirator performance and reliability.

All respirators that rely on a mask-to-face seal must be fit tested to validate the seal is air-tight. This is also done during our Hazwoper training. This fit test must be performed:

  • prior to first issue or use of the respirator,
  • when there’s a change in the model, style or size of respirator used,
  • when there’s a physical facial change in the person wearing the mask, and
  • at least annually

Prior to the actual fit test, the employee should:

  • be given a description of the fit test and the exercises he or she will perform during the test;
  • be shown how to put on a respirator, position it on the face, set strap tension, and determine an acceptable fit;

The employee shall be allowed to pick the most acceptable size respirator to correctly fits the user. First Call Environmental uses the Scott AV-3000 available in Small – Medium – Large. The employee shall be informed that he/she is being asked to select the respirator that provides the most acceptable fit and worn at least five minutes to assess comfort.

FCE has annual fit testing policy per OSHA.

Employees must be clean shaven. Per OSHA standards 1910.134(g)(1)(i), 1910.134(g)(1)(i)(A), and 1910.134(g)(1)(i)(B), facial hair must not make contact with the seal of the mask for fit testing.