The UofL Respiratory Protection Program applies to all university employees who are required to use or voluntarily wear respirators during work, for both routine tasks and emergencies. Major requirements of the program include hazard assessment, medical evaluation and qualification, fit testing, training and a unit-specific written respiratory protection plan.
Selecting and using respirators can be a complicated procedure requiring hazard evaluation, and an understanding of OSHA regulations, therefore, DEHS must conduct a hazard assessment to confirm if respiratory protection is indicated. OSHA requires that exposures first be reduced through engineering and administrative controls. The use of respirators is only allowed if other controls are in the process of being installed or implemented or if these controls are inadequate or not feasible.
When it is determined respirators will be used, DEHS can assist you in choosing the type of respirator that will offer the best protection. DEHS also provides the required training and fit testing. The written plan must contain work site-specific procedures and hazard assessments addressing the hazards in the work area. DEHS is available to assist supervisors with this requirement, and has developed a template they should use to create a Respiratory Protection Plan customized to their specific needs. Employees using filtering facepiece respirators (paper dust masks) in a voluntary use situation are exempt from most, but not all, requirements of the OSHA standard.
Questions regarding the Respiratory Protection Program can be directed to the Respiratory Protection Program Administrator or call 852-2961.