Myth #1:

February 10, 2012

"We use respirators on a voluntary basis so I dont need to meet any requirements of the OSHA respiratory protection program (29 CFR 1910.134)."

Wrong. Even though you are using the product voluntarily and the use is below Permissible Exposure Levels (PEL), you are still required to follow OSHAs written respiratory protection program (1910.134(c)(1)). This is to ensure that:

any employee using a respirator is medically able to use one
the respirator is cleaned, stored and maintained so that future use does not present a health hazard to the user
voluntary respirator users have received the information contained in Appendix D of 1910.134.

For example, If employees choose to wear a non NIOSH approved mask (nuisance level dust mask) on a voluntary basis those employees are not required to be included in a written respiratory program but still must be provided Appendix D.

If you need a written program, the Lab Safety Supply, Safety Systems Made Easy Guide Series includes a complete respirator program with a written template, employee handbooks, training scripts and more.
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