Any employee that is required to wear a respirator must be trained and fit-tested prior to wearing a respirator.

For job tasks that do not require the use of a respirator, employees have the option to voluntarily use a filtering facepiece respirator (disposable paper respirator/dust mask) – if management determines that such respirator use will not itself create a hazard.

The definition of a filtering facepiece (dust mask) is a negative pressure particulate respirator with a filter as an integral part of the facepiece or with the entire facepiece composed of the filtering medium (for example, the N95 respirator).

If an employee has voluntarily chosen to purchase his or her own "filtering facepiece dust mask" or is supplied by the employer, he/she is not required to complete the respirator training program. However, the employee must be provided the information under Section 5144 Appendix D titled "Information for Employees Using Respirators When Not Required Under the Standard." (For your convenience, Appendix D has been converted into an acknowledgement sheet for employees to sign and confirm they have received the Appendix D information-see Appendix 9 of this program guide for the form. Please file the signed acknowledgment form with the employee’s training records. In most cases this may be located with the VPA/FM Director’s office.)

Training

Respirator fit testing and training is required annually. However, if you change the style or make and model of your respirator then you will need to be re-fitted to the new respirator. Additional training may be needed if changes in the workplace or the type of respirator render previous training is obsolete; inadequacies in the employees knowledge or use of the respirator indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill; or any other situation arises in which retraining appears necessary to ensure safe respirator use.