If you own or manage a painting or spray coating shop, then you are most likely required to provide mandated respirator protection to your employees. According to OSHA, Employers must first try to prevent hazardous dusts, fogs, fumes, gases, sprays and vapors from entering the work environment using engineering controls and substitution. If this cannot be achieved, then you must implement a respiratory protection program.
2 Key Elements of An Effective Respiratory Protection Program
If you’ve already filled out the necessary paperwork, and have started a respirator protection program for your shop, then good job! Now it’s time to make sure that you are doing things as effectively as possible. There are really 2 actionable steps you need to take:
1. Appoint a Program Administrator
A program administrator is responsible for ensuring that your I’s are always dotted and your T’s are always crossed. The program administrator makes sure that everyone who must wear respirator protection is properly trained for it. This entails person-by-person demonstration whenever necessary. We detailed exactly how to choose the right respiratory program administrator for your business. Feel free to check it out if you need additional advice.
2. Annual Fit Testing
In addition to comprehensive use training, all employees should be using a respirator mask that fits their face. This is one of the program administrator’s major duties. If you do not have a designated program administrator, then you should hire a company–like SoCal First Aid–that specializes in respirator fit testing.
To learn more about respirator fit testing, and how SoCal First Aid can help you, watch the video below: