General Use Procedures
- Employees will use their respirators under conditions specified by this program,
and in accordance with the training they receive on the use of each particular
model. In addition, the respirator shall not be used in a manner for which it
is not certified by NIOSH or by its manufacturer.
- All employees shall conduct user seal checks each time that they wear their
respirator. Employees shall use either the positive or negative pressure check
- depending on which test works best for them - specified in Appendix B-1 of the
Respiratory Protection standard.
- All employees shall be permitted to leave the work area to maintain their
respirator for the following reasons:
- To clean their respirator if the respirator is impeding their ability to
- Change filters or cartridges.
- Replace parts.
- Inspect the respirator if it stops functioning as intended.
- Employees performing class III asbestos work must follow all cleanup procedures
required under the Asbestos Standards for Construction before leaving a regulated
- Employees are not permitted to wear tight-fitting respirators if they have
any condition, such as facial scars, facial hair, or missing dentures, that prevents
them from achieving a good seal. Employees are not permitted to wear headphones,
jewelry, or other articles that may interfere with the facepiece-to-face seal.
- For any malfunction of an APR (e.g., contaminant breakthrough, facepiece
leakage, or improperly working valve), the respirator wearer should inform his
or her supervisor that the respirator no longer functions as intended, and leave
the work area to maintain the respirator. The supervisor must ensure that the
employee receives the needed parts to repair the respirator, or is provided with
a new respirator.
Cleaning, Maintenance, Change Schedules, and Storage
Respirators are to be regularly cleaned and disinfected at the location designated
by the supervisor for this purpose. Respirators issued for the exclusive use of
an employee shall be cleaned as often as necessary.
The following procedure is to be used when cleaning and disinfecting respirators:
- Disassemble the respirator, removing any filters, canisters, or cartridges.
- Wash the facepiece and associated parts in a mild detergent with warm water
or use a cleaner supplied by the manufacturer. Do not use organic solvents.
- Rinse completely in clean warm water or follow the directions for the manufacturer-supplied
- Wipe the respirator with disinfectant wipes to kill germs.
- Air dry in a clean area.
- Reassemble the respirator and replace any defective parts.
- Place in a clean, dry plastic bag or other air-tight container.
The Program Administrator will ensure that an adequate supply of appropriate
cleaning and disinfection materials are available at the MTU Central Stores facility.
Respirators are to be properly maintained at all times in order to ensure that
they function properly and adequately protect the employee. Maintenance involves
a thorough visual inspection for cleanliness and defects. Worn or deteriorated
parts will be replaced prior to use. No components will be replaced or repairs
made beyond those recommended by the manufacturer and only parts approved by the
manufacturer shall be used.
The following checklist will be used when inspecting respirators:
- cracks, tears, or holes
- facemask distortion
- cracked or loose lenses/faceshield.
- breaks or tears
- broken buckles
- residue or dirt
- cracks or tears in valve material
- missing valves
- Filters or Cartridges:
- approval designation
- cracks or dents in housing
- proper cartridge for hazard
Employees are permitted to leave their work area to perform limited maintenance
on their respirator in an area that is free of respiratory hazards. Situations
when this is permitted include: to wash their face and respirator facepiece to
prevent any eye or skin irritation, to replace the filter or cartridge, if they
detect vapor or gas breakthrough or leakage in the facepiece, or if they detect
any other damage to the respirator or its components.
Employees wearing APRs or PAPRs with P100 filters for protection against asbestos
fibers or other particulates shall change the cartridges on their respirator when
they first begin to experience difficulty breathing while wearing their masks
or at the end of each shift, whichever occurs first.
Employees with approval for voluntary use of APRs with cartridges other than
particulate filters shall change the cartridges on their respirators on a schedule
to be determined by the manufacturer and the Program Administrator on a case-by-case
Respirators must be stored in a clean, dry area, and in accordance with the
manufacturer's recommendations. Each employee will clean and inspect their own
APR in accordance with the provisions of this program and will store their respirator
in a plastic bag or other sealed container. Each employee will have his/her name
on the bag or other storage container and that bag or container will only be used
to store that employee's respirator.
Respirators that are defective or have defective parts that can not be replaced
shall be taken out of service immediately. If, during an inspection, an employee
discovers such a defect in a respirator, he/she is to bring the defect to the
attentions of his or her supervisor. Supervisors will dispose of all such defective