NEED AIRRR....I NEED A RESPIRATOR...."
the site supervisor as he is entering into the sewer opening
to check on his co-worker who had become quiet less then two
minutes after entering the manhole. As the supervisor begins
to black out from lack of oxygen in the atmosphere, he thinks
to himself, "I should be wearing my RESPIRATOR!"
we work under conditions that we think and feel are "normal"
conditions. When monitored and depending on the type of work
we are doing, these conditions could be determined to be hazardous
to our lungs because of a lack of oxygen, harmful dust, fogs,
smokes, mists, fumes, gases, vapors, or sprays. Many substances
we think are safe have been determined, when over exposed,
to can cause cancer, lung impairment, other diseases, or even
are forms of personal protection equipment (PPE) and
can prevent the entry of harmful substances into our lungs
during breathing. There are many types of respirators from
Dust Masks that fit over our mouths to prevent entry
of contaminants to Full Face Masks - air purifying
respirators - and even some respirators that provide a separate
supply of breathable air so work can be performed when there
is inadequate oxygen or where greater protection is needed
such as a Full Body Supplied Air Respirator, or a Self
Contained Breathing Apparatus. (See Types of Respirators).
Contained Breathing Apparatus
workplace, when effective engineering controls (designing
and manufacturing out the problem) are not feasible, and when
administrative controls (work shift changes, more breaks,
etc.) cannot be implemented, it may be necessary for employees
to wear a respirator to provide protection from an identified
respirators are necessary for health protection, specific
safety procedures must be observed to ensure the safety of
each user; this is the beginning of a Respirator
Program. As user's, we must be aware that respirators
have their limitations and are not a substitute for effective
are responsible for establishing an effective Respiratory
- different hazards require different respirators (see types
of respirators) and specific operating procedures for each
type of respirator. Employees are responsible
for wearing the respirator and complying with the program.
information can be found on its web page. Additionally,
Maricopa County has adopted by reference in its Administrative
Policy A-2207, Appendix A all of OSHA's compliance requirements.
Respirator Program should include:
Written Standard Operating Procedures
Fit testing procedure
Inspection, cleaning, maintenance & storage
Work area surveillance
Air quality standards
Approved respirators for type of hazard
important to know of air quality hazards in our workplace
and proper environmental controls should be implemented when
possible to prevent air quality hazards. When it has been
determined that respirators are necessary, a Respiratory Program
must be implemented before a respirator can be used.
wearing any type of respirator, always check with your
supervisor for specific information for the use of respirators
in your area.
can prevent harmful effects and save your life in many hazardous
air quality situations!
can be found at OHSA's Respiratory
Protection web page or within the County's A2207 Policy.