Use of Half-Mask Respirators
Over the past couple of days I have had several members asking about the feasibility of wearing half-mask respirators for protection against CoVid while picking up garbage, working at the wastewater plants and near lagoons and reading meters. Most do not have filtering face pieces, or commonly known as dust masks, available. Filtering face pieces, when worn properly, provide good respiratory protection against certain sizes of particulates. While OSHA’s respiratory protection standard (1910.134) does allow half masks to be worn on a voluntary basis, it requires the employee to be medically cleared before they are used. The filtering face piece type does not require that clearance because it does not tax the pulmonary system like a half mask. The questionnaire for the medical evaluation is Appendix C of 1910.134; this questionnaire is to be completed by the employee and a licensed health care provider will use this document to evaluate the employee’s capability to use the respirator. The employer must also provide the employee with Appendix D of 1910.134 when allowing the employee to wear respiratory protection on a voluntary basis. If you have any questions regarding respiratory protection, please call or email Margret Meade at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 515.210.6617.
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