Understand the detailed requirements in order to protect your employees from potential respiratory hazards and exposures.
According to OSHA, an estimated 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 million workplaces throughout the United States. Respirators protect workers against insufficient oxygen environments, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors, and sprays. These hazards may cause cancer, lung impairment, diseases, or death.
Most safety professionals have already determined if there are any jobs that require respirators. Usually, this determination is made by a careful job hazard assessment (JHA) with the objective of designing the job to eliminate the need for respirators or when that is not possible using the JHA to determine what respiratory protection is needed. Whether you have a respiratory protection program already in place or considering one, it is critical that you understand the detailed requirements - those required by OSHA as well as those required by the manufacturer - in order to protect your employees from potential respiratory hazards and exposures but also to protect you company from potential OSHA citations and penalties.
Edwin G. Foulke, Jr.
Fisher & Phillips LLP
- Partner in the Atlanta office of Fisher & Phillips LLP and also serves as President of Fisher Phillips Safety Solutions LLC
- Prior to joining Fisher & Phillips, he was the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health; named by President George W. Bush to head OSHA, he served in that capacity from April 2006 to November 2008
- During his tenure at OSHA, workplace injury, illness, and fatality rates dropped to their lowest levels in recorded history
- For more than 30 years, he has worked in the labor and employment area, focusing on occupational safety and health issues
- He also served on the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission in Washington, D.C., chairing the Commission from March 1990 to February 1994
- Has been named one of the 50 Most Influential EHS Leaders by EHS Today magazine for several years and named one of the 50 Most Influential EHS Leaders in the United States by Occupational Hazards magazine
- Is recognized as one of the nation’s leading authorities on occupational safety and health issues
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