|Oversight unit:||PUBLIC SAFETY AND POLICE SERVICES|
|This policy has a related procedure. View the procedure.|
To identify Northern Michigan University’s policy for the voluntary use of certain types of respiratory protection.
All University employees, full time, part time, temporary, casual labor and students who choose to use their own respirators. Note: This policy does not include the voluntary use of filtering facepieces (dust masks).
It is the policy of Northern Michigan University to comply with the requirements of Act 154, Public Acts of 1974, as amended, Part 451, Respiratory Protection.
Introduction: Section 24 of Act No. 154 of the Public Acts of 1974, as amended (Part 451. Respiratory Protection) require a limited written plan when employees are permitted to use their own respirators. The University must determine that the use of a respirator will not in and of itself create a hazard.
Mandatory information for employees using respirators (Part 451, 1910.134(k)(6) and Appendix D to Section 1910.134)
“Respirators are an effective method of protection against designated hazards when properly selected and worn. Respirator use is encouraged even when exposures are below the exposure limit, to provide an additional level of comfort and protection for workers. However, if a respirator is used improperly or not kept clean, the respirator itself can become a hazard to the worker. Sometimes, workers may wear respirators to avoid exposures to hazards, even if the amount of hazardous substance does not exceed the limits set by OSHA standards. If you employer provides respirators for your voluntary use, of if you provide your own respirator, you need to take certain precautions to be sure that the respirator itself does not present a hazard.
You should do the following:
Maintenance and Care Of Respirators: (Part 451, 1910.134(h)(1) Appendix B-2) Mandatory
For those employees choosing to use their own respirators, the following procedures are mandatory:
Employees shall ensure that respirators are cleaned and disinfected using the following procedures, or procedures recommended by the respirator manufacturer, provided that the procedures are equally effective:
Respirators shall be cleaned and disinfected as often as necessary to be maintained in a sanitary condition.
Respirator Storage (Part 451, 1910, 134 (h)(2))
Respirators shall be stored to protect them from damage, contamination, dust, sunlight, extreme temperatures, excessive moisture, and damaging chemicals, and they shall be packed or stored to prevent deformation of the face piece and exhalation valve, or stored in accordance with any applicable manufacturer instructions. Keep in mind facepieces will become distorted and straps will loose their elasticity if hung on peg for a long period of time. Storing a respirator in a plastic sealable bag after use is not considered a good practice; unless the respirator is allowed to completely dry before storage.
Respirator Inspection: (Part 451, 1910 (h)(3))
Respirators shall be inspected before each used and during cleaning. The inspection will include the following: respirator function, tightness of connection, and condition of the various parts including, but not limited to, the face piece, head straps, valves, connecting tube, and cartridges, canisters or filters an; and electrometric parts for pliability and signs of deterioration.
Respirators that fail inspection or are otherwise found to be defective will be removed from service and discarded.
Respirator Cartridge Change Schedule: (Part 451, 1910.134(d)(3)(iii)
A change schedule is the part of the written respirator program which says how often cartridges should be replaced and what information was relied upon to make this judgment. A cartridge's useful service life is how long it provides adequate protection from harmful chemicals in the air. The service life of a cartridge depends upon many factors, including;
There are three valid ways to estimate a cartridge’s service life: experimental tests, Manufacturer’s recommendation and use of a math model.
At Northern Michigan University, employees who elect to use respirators will adhere to the following change schedule:
Before each use the outside of the filter material should be inspected. If the filter material is physical damaged or soiled, the filter must be changed. Always follow the respirator filter manufacturer’s service-time-limit.
Medical Evaluation Questionnaire: (Part 451, 1910.134(e)(2), (e)(2)(i), (e)(2ii) and Appendix C to Sec. 1910.134)
Employees who choose to use their own respirators are required to complete a confidential Medical Evaluation Questionnaire annually, which the employee will submit the University Health Center for evaluation by a staff physician.
Employees are allowed to answer the questionnaire during normal working hours, or at a time and place convenient to them. The questionnaire is confidential and your employer or supervisor may not look at or review your answers.
Employees, supervisors or departments heads having questions about the policy or requiring assistance should contact the Safety Director (Director, Public Safety & Police Services.)
Northern Michigan University Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire (Mandatory)
Part A. Section 1. (Mandatory)
Part A. Section 2. (Mandatory)
[63 FR 1152, Jan. 8, 1998; 63 FR 20098, April 23, 1998]