The purpose of this program is to establish standard operating guidelines for the use of respirators by University of Akron employees.

This respiratory protection program shall apply to all employees who are assigned a respirator, which is available to them during their normal course of work duties.  Voluntary respirator use must be approved by EOHS and all supervisors.  Voluntary users will follow all aspects of the respiratory protection program, sign a waiver, and follow CFR 1910.134 APP D.

Each supervisor shall determine what specific job duties will require the use of a respirator. They will assist in the selection of appropriate respiratory protection equipment and be responsible to refer questions and concerns to the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety.

The Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (EOHS) will assist in evaluating work site conditions, specifying respirators, providing training, periodic inspections, and regular audits of the program.

Employees shall be aware of requirements for respiratory protection for their work sites. They shall be responsible for wearing the appropriate respiratory equipment following proper instructions, and for cleaning, storage, and keeping the equipment in operable condition.

Only National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)/Mine Safety and Health (MSHA) approved respirators shall be used.

Employees shall be assigned their own respirator. Respirators shall not be "shared" by employees

Cartridges shall be MSHA/NIOSH approved.

Medical Evaluations
Only employees who have obtained a physician's approval to confirm that they are physically fit to wear respiratory protection during the course of their normal work activities shall be permitted to receive training and be assigned a respirator

All employees assigned a respirator shall attend initial and refresher respirator protection training courses at least once every 12 months. Each employee shall demonstrate that they have a basic knowledge of the program and understanding of the proper use, cleaning, and storage of the respirator.

Supervisors shall refer all employees to EOHS if they fail to use, inspect, or store the respiratory protection equipment in a safe and adequate condition.

Respirators shall be routinely inspected. Employees shall inspect the respiratory equipment prior to and following each use. Damage and defects shall be reported immediately to the supervisor. Any damaged, defective, deteriorated, or broken equipment must be taken out of service immediately.

Supervisors shall inspect respirators on a random but routine basis. A written log shall be maintained on respirators pulled out of service. Written reports shall be maintained on failure to clean, inspect, or store respirators in an approved manner.

EOHS shall make periodic field inspections to evaluate the program and to document that the employees are using, cleaning, and storing the respiratory protection equipment as set forth in the written program.

Repairs and Replacement Parts
Only approved replacement parts shall be used. All component replacements and repairs will be in compliance with manufacturer's recommendations.

All respirators shall be stored in a clean and dry location. Respirators shall be stored in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations. Each employee assigned a respirator shall be responsible for storage of their respirator so that it is available for use at all times during the normal course of their activities.

Fit Tests and Donning
Each employee shall be fit tested following the initial training activities. Employees shall not use any respirator for which they have not been fit tested, except supplied air positive pressure or pressure demand units or powered air purifying units with full-face piece and/or hood. Each employee is responsible to test the respirator by positive and negative pressure testing each and every time the respirator is donned. Any employee who cannot achieve a seal on a negative pressure respirator shall not use the respirator until that face seal is achieved. Employees shall not have facial hair that interferes with the respirator seal. University of Akron employees shall not engage in any asbestos abatement activities or enter any IDLH environments using a negative pressure air-purifying respirator. All entry into such environments requires prior approval from EOHS.

Record Keeping
Medical and training records shall be maintained by EOHS. All written inspection reports and documented investigations shall be kept on file in the EOHS office.

The Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety reserves the right to pull respiratory protection equipment at any time for failure to complete required training programs. Failure to demonstrate adequate knowledge of approved procedures for use of respiratory equipment, and for failure to maintain respiratory protection equipment in a safe and operable manner. Immediate notification shall be made to the supervisor and administrators responsible for the employee. Respirators shall only be used when engineering and administrative controls are not effective or possible. The employee is responsible for all information and material presented during training sessions.

Each employee is responsible to know and understand the information enclosed in the training information and to keep that information available for reference.