Respirator Training Program

May 1, 2009 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) respiratory protection standard, 29 CFR ยง 1910.134, requires healthcare facilities to write and implement a respiratory protection program when respirators are necessary to protect healthcare workers from breathing air contaminated with harmful dust, fog, fumes, mist, gases, smoke, sprays, or vapors. Healthcare workers who use respirators must receive annual training and fit testing. Additional training and fit testing must be provided when workplace changes or changes in the types of respirator render previous training obsolete or when healthcare workers display inadequate knowledge of or skill in the correct use of respirators. This type of training needs only to address the new equipment that requires explanation or the skill that needs improvement.

Annual respirator training must include an explanation of the OSHA standard and its requirements. Copies of the regulation must be accessible during training, but it is not required that each participant receive a copy. Training must also include information on and employees must demonstrate knowledge of the following:

OSHA does not specifically require that the training sessions be presented by a live instructor, but Healthcare Risk Control(HRC) recommends that healthcare facilities that use videos and computer-based training provide interactive training with an instructor who is knowledgeable about potential respiratory hazards, workplace exposures, and types of respirators used. This packet provides the trainer with the materials needed to coordinate, develop, and conduct training sessions. It includes...

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