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Our lungs keep us alive, and protecting them at all costs is a must for a long and healthy life. There are many work environments that are exposed to harmful debris and chemicals that irritate and can permanently damage our lungs. Here are some OSHA standards to remember when deciding if your workers need respiratory protection:

  • 1910.134(a)(1) - In the control of those occupational diseases caused by breathing air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors, the primary objective shall be to prevent atmospheric contamination. This shall be accomplished as far as feasible by accepted engineering control measures (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 while they are being instituted, appropriate respirators shall be used pursuant to this section.
  • 1910.134(a)(2) - A respirator shall be provided to each employee when such equipment is necessary to protect the health of such employee. The employer shall provide the respirators which are applicable and suitable for the purpose intended. The employer shall be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of a respiratory protection program, which shall include the requirements outlined in paragraph (c) of this section. The program shall cover each employee required by this section to use a respirator.

The primary objective of the respiratory protection program is to prevent exposure to air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, vapors, or sprays, and thus to prevent occupational illness. Respiratory masks can also prevent the spread of an illness in your workplace, these come in handy during flu season to keep your workers from needing time off to heal from bring sick. Stay compliant and keep people safe both inside and outside your facility.