OSHA's primary objective for respiratory protection is the prevention of atmospheric contamination. Accepted engineering control measures are to be used to accomplish this (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 sufficient, or while they are being instituted, OSHA requires that employees use appropriate respirators. When your employees need respirators to do their jobs, setting up an effective respirator safety program is essential. The respiratory protection regulation (29 CFR 1910.134) establishes uniform guidelines for protecting your workers when they must work in hazardous atmospheres.
Respiratory protection is required by several standards in Subpart Z of 1910 when exposures are above the Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL). This training topic can be used as part of the training session for these standards' respiratory protection requirements. Or, use this as a separate training session when respiratory protection is required to protect from the hazards of the air contaminants listed in 29 CFR 1910.1000. OSHA's respiratory protection regulation also includes provisions for respirator use that is not required by any OSHA standard. Employers have responsibilities when respirator use is voluntary or is a company requirement.