The purpose of this document is to provide general guidelines to all Yukon government employees on PPE - "Respiratory Protection."
For detailed information regarding "PPE - respiratory protection," please review Yukon Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (YOHSR), Part 1: General, Section 1.26 - 1.33 and "Occupational Health Regulations," Section 27 - 46.
Choosing a respirator is a complicated matter. Experienced safety professionals or occupational hygienists, who are familiar with the actual workplace environment, are the staff who should select the proper respirator. They can choose a suitable respirator only after they have evaluated all relevant factors. This includes considering the limitations of each class of respirator.
Before the proper respirator can be selected for a job, be sure you have already:
- identified the respiratory hazard
- evaluated the hazard
- considered whether engineering controls are feasible
Employers should have a written respiratory protection program that describes the proper procedures for selecting and operating respiratory protective equipment. The correct use of a respirator is just as important as selecting the proper respirator. Parts of the respirator program deal with finding out what hazards are present and how much protection that the workers will need. Other parts should describe how to wear and look after the respirator.
Without a complete respiratory protection program, people will probably not receive the best protection from a respirator even if it is the correct choice for a specific job. A respiratory protection program includes several components such as:
- hazard identification and control
- exposure assessment
- respirator selection
- respirator fit-testing
- training program
- inspection and record keeping
- cleaning and sanitizing respirators
- repairing and maintaining respirators
- proper storage of respirators
- health surveillance
- standard operating procedures (available in written form)
- program evaluation.