Section: Safety and Security
Policy Number: 7-32
Policy Name: Respiratory Protection
Date: September 1, 1988
Revisions: April 23, 1990

  1. PURPOSE

    To establish uniform administrative procedures and minimum requirements related to respiratory protection.

  2. POLICY

    1. Scope and Application

      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.

    2. Administrative Aspects

      1. Respirators shall be provided by the University when such equipment is necessary to protect the health of the employee*. The University shall provide respirators which are applicable and suitable for the purpose intended.

      2. The Director of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, shall be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of a respiratory protective program.

      3. The Department of Environmental Health and Safety shall have the authority to require the use of respiratory protective equipment and to prohibit the use of such equipment.

      4. Only respiratory protective equipment approved by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety shall be purchased or utilized.

      5. Only employees authorized by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety shall use respiratory protective equipment.

      6. Respirators requiring a face to respirator seal shall not be worn when conditions prevent a good face seal. Such conditions are a growth of beard, side burns, a skull cap that projects under the facepiece or temple piece of glasses. Departments should make a reasonable effort to find alternative work for employees who may be religiously discriminated against by the facial hair policy.

      7. Departments shall bear the cost of respiratory protective equipment, the cost of miscellaneous supplies and expenses, and the cost of medical evaluations required by the respiratory protection program.

      8. Medical evaluations shall be conducted by the Student Health Service or a licensed physician acceptable to the Director, Student Health Service, and the Director, Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

      9. The supervising department shall notify the Department of Environmental Health and Safety prior to assigning an employee to a task that could require the use of a respiratory protective device.

      10. Employees shall utilize and maintain respiratory protective equipment in accordance with procedures established by the Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

      11. The supervising department shall ensure employees comply with the provisions of the respiratory protection program.

      12. Exceptions to this policy and the respiratory protection program shall require the approval of the Director, Department of Environmental Health and Safety.

        For more information contact the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (ext. 8475).

N.B. As used in this Policy the term employee includes students.

Submitted by: Environmental Health and Safety