Huntington Beach, CA, March 19th, 2018
In California, Cal/OSHA’s mandate for the use of respirators by workers can be found in Title 8, California Code of Regulations (T8CCR) Section 5144, and its appendices. The standard and appendices detail steps employers must take to assure safe and effective use of respirators in the workplace. It applies to all workplace respirator use and many substance-specific standards, such as lead and asbestos, also have additional respiratory protection requirements.
Nationwide, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that an estimated 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 million workplaces. Unfortunately, year after year, respiratory protection makes its way to the agency’s Top 10 List of the most frequently cited safety and health violations.
Compliance with the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard or California’s T8CCR 5144 could avert many deaths, countless illnesses and numerous costly citations. These apply to all occupational airborne exposures to contaminated air where the employee is:
- Exposed to a hazardous level of an airborne contaminant; or
- Required by the employer to wear respirators; or
- Permitted to wear respirators.
Four major duties are imposed by each of these, including:
- Using engineering controls where feasible to control the hazard.
- Providing an appropriate respirator.
- Ensuring the use of an appropriate respirator.
- Instituting a respiratory protection program that complies with the rest of the standard.
“Workers can be protected by the use of two different categories of respirators,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “One group of respirators removes contaminants from the air. This category of respirators includes particulate respirators which filter out airborne particles and air-purifying respirators with cartridges or canisters that filter out chemicals and gases. The other type of respirator supplies clean respirable air from another source. These include airline respirators which use compressed air from a remote source and self-contained breathing apparatus.”
It is critical that employees are trained and provided with the appropriate type of respirator for the environment and potential hazards they may encounter. To help in these efforts, LA Testing offers a complete line of respirators, filters, accessories, fit testing supplies and other personal protective equipment (PPE). The company has even sponsored an educational video about respiratory protection for workers that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/-RcHxOXoDzo.
To learn more about this or other environmental, occupational, health and safety testing services and products, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC Elite, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.