Chapter 296-842, WAC

Effective Date: 12/01/09

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Written Respirator Program and Recordkeeping

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Develop and maintain a written program
Keep respirator program records WAC 296-842-12010


WAC 296-842-12005

Develop and maintain a written program



This section does not apply to respirator use that is voluntary. See WAC 296-842-11005 for voluntary use program requirements.

(1) Develop a complete worksite-specific written respiratory protection program that includes the applicable elements listed in Table 3. The program shall cover each employee requried by this section to use a respirator.



Pay for respirators, medical evaluations, fit-testing, training, maintenance, travel costs, and wages.

(2) Keep your program current and effective by evaluating it and making corrections. Do all of the following:

(a) Make sure procedures and program specifications are followed and appropriate.
(b) Make sure selected respirators continue to be effective in protecting employe. For example, if changes in work area conditions, level of employee exposure, or employee physical stress have occurred, you need to reevaluate your respirator selection.
(c) Have supervisors periodically monitor employee respirator use to make sure employees are using them properly.
(d) Regularly ask employees required to use respirators about their views concerning program effectiveness and whether they have problems with:

    - Respirator fit during use

    - Any effects of respirator use on work performance

    - Respirators being appropriate for the hazards encountered

    - Proper use under current worksite conditions

    - Proper maintenance.

(e) When developing your written program include applicable elements listed in Table 3.


Table 3
Required Elements for Required-Use Respirator Programs


- Procedures for respirator selection
- A list specifying the appropriate respirator for each respiratory hazard in your workplace
- Procedures for issuing the proper type of respirator, if appropriate

Medical evaluation provisions
Fit-test provisions and procedures, if tight-fitting respirators are selected

Training provisions that addresses:

- Respiratory hazards encountered during:

• Routine activities
• Infrequent activities, for example, bi-monthly cleaning of equipment
• Reasonably foreseeable emergencies, for example, rescue, spill response, or escape situations

- Proper use of respirators, for example, how to put on or remove respirators, and use limitations

You do not need to repeat training on respiratory hazards if employees have been trained on this in compliance with other rules such as WAC 296-800-170, Employer Chemical Hazard Communication in the DOSH Safety and Health Core Rules.

Respirator use procedures for:
- Routine activities
- Infrequent activities
- Reasonably foreseeable emergencies

- Procedures and schedules for respirator maintenance covering:

• Cleaning and disinfecting

• Storage

• Inspection and repair

• When to discard respirators

- A cartridge or canister change schedule if air-purifying respirators are selected for use against gas or vapor contaminants and an end-of-service-life-indicator (ESLI) isn't available. In addition, provide:

• The data and other information you relied on to calculate change schedule values (for example, highest contaminant concentration estimates, duration of employee respirator use, expected maximum humidity levels, user breathing rates, and safety factors).

Procedures to ensure a safe air quantity and quality if atmosphere-supplying respirators (air-line or SCBA) are selected.

Procedures for evaluating program effectiveness on a regular basis

WAC 296-842-12010  
Keep respirator program records

(1) A written copy pf the current respirator program must be kept by the employer.

(2) Keep each employee's current fit test record, if fit testing is conducted, until the next fit test is administered. Fit test records must include:

  • (a) Employee name;
  • (b) Test date;
  • (c) Type of fit-test performed;
  • (d) Description (type, manufacturer, model, style, and size) of the respirator tested;
  • (e) Results of fit tests, for example, for quantitative fit tests include the overall fit factor and a print out, or other recording of the test.

(3) Keep training records that include employees' names and the dates trained.

(4) Keep written recommendations from the LHCP.



See chapter 296-802 WAC, Employee medical and exposure records, for additional requirements that apply to medical records.

(5) Employers must allow affected employees and their representatives to examine and copy records required by this section.

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