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Layton City Policy

Personnel Policy Manual

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5002 - Respiratory Protection Program

Introduction

In compliance with the Federal Occupational Health and Safety Code requirements for respiratory protection, Layton City has established the following Respiratory Protection Program.

Purpose

The purpose of this program is to protect employees from occupational diseases caused by breathing air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, or vapors.  Where possible, respiratory protection will be accomplished by implementing engineering/administrative controls such as enclosure or confinement of the operation, general and local ventilation, or substitution of less toxic materials.  When engineering/administrative controls are not feasible or sufficiently effective to protect the employee, then the use of respirators will be required in addition to those controls.

Definitions

Air-purifying respirator – a respirator with an air-purifying filter, cartridge, or canister that removes specific air contaminants by passing ambient air through the air-purifying element.

Atmosphere-supplying respirator – a respirator that supplies the respirator user with breathing air from a source independent of the ambient atmosphere, and includes supplied-air respirators (SARs) or self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units.

Canister or Cartridge – a container with a filter, sorbent, or catalyst, or combination of these items, which removes specific contaminants from the air passed through the container.

Demand respirator – an atmosphere-supplying respirator that admits breathing air to the facepiece only when a negative pressure is created inside the facepiece by inhalation.

Employee exposure – exposure to a concentration of an airborne contaminant that would occur if the employee were not using respiratory protection.

End-of-service-life indicator (ESLI) – a system that warns the respirator user of the approach of the end of adequate respiratory protection, for example, that the sorbent is approaching saturation or is no longer effective.

Escape-only respirator – a respirator intended to be used only for emergency exit.

Filter or air purifying element – a component used in respirators to remove solid or liquid aerosols from the inspired air.

Filtering facepiece (dust mask) – a negative pressure particulate respirator with a filter as an integral part of the facepiece or with the entire facepiece composed of the filtering medium.

Fit factor – a quantitative estimate of the fit of a particular respirator to a specific individual, and typically estimates the ratio of the concentration of a substance in ambient air to its concentration inside the respirator when worn.

Fit test – the use of a protocol to qualitatively or quantitatively evaluate the fit of a respirator on an individual. 

Helmet – a rigid respiratory inlet covering that also provides head protection against impact and penetration.

High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter – a filter that is at least 99.97% efficient in removing monodisperse particles of 0.3 micrometers in diameter.  The equivalent NIOSH 42 CFR 84 particulate filters are the N100, R100, and P100 filters.

Hood – a respiratory inlet covering that completely covers the head and neck and may also cover portions of the shoulders and torso.

Immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) – an atmosphere that poses an immediate threat to life, and would cause irreversible adverse health effects, or would impair and individual’s ability to escape from a dangerous atmosphere.

Interior structural firefighting – the physical activity of the fire suppression, rescue or both, inside of buildings or enclosed structures, which are involved in a fire situation beyond the incipient stage (OSHA 29 CFR 1910.155)

Loose-fitting facepiece – a respiratory inlet covering that is designed to form a partial seal with the face.

Negative pressure respirator (tight fitting) – a respirator in which the air pressure inside the facepiece is negative during inhalation with respect to the ambient air pressure outside the respirator.

Oxygen deficient atmosphere – an atmosphere with the oxygen content below 19.5% by volume.

Physician or other licensed health care professional (PLHCP) – an individual whose legally permitted scope of practice allows him or her to independently provide, or be delegated the responsibility to provide, some or all of the health care services required OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134 (e).

Positive pressure respirator – a respirator in which the pressure inside the respiratory inlet covering exceeds the ambient air outside the respirator.

Powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) – an air-purifying respirator that uses a blower to force the ambient air through air-purifying elements to the inlet covering.

Pressure demand respirator – a positive pressure atmosphere-supplying respirator that admits breathing air to the facepiece when the positive pressure is reduced inside the facepiece by inhalation.

Qualitative fit test (QLFT) – a pass/fail test to assess the adequacy of respirator fit that relies on the individual’s response to the test agent.

Quantitative fit test (QNFT) – an assessment of the adequacy of respirator fit by numerically measuring the amount of leakage in the respirator.

Respiratory inlet covering – that portion of a respirator that forms the protective barrier between the user’s respiratory tract and an air-purifying device or breathing air source, or both.  It may be a facepiece, helmet, hood, suit, or a mouthpiece respirator with nose clamp.

Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) – an atmosphere-supplying respirator for which the breathing air source is designed to be carried by the user. 

Service life – the period of time that a respirator, filter or sorbent, or other respiratory equipment provides adequate protection to the wearer.

Supplied-air respirator (SAR) or airline respirator – an atmosphere-supplying respirator for which the source of breathing air is not designed to be carried by the user.

This section – means this respiratory protection standard.

Tight-fitting facepiece – a respiratory inlet covering that forms a complete seal with the face.

User seal check – an action conducted by the respirator user to determine if the respirator is properly seated to the face. 

Respirator Selection

Respirators will be provided by Layton City when engineering/administrative controls are not sufficient to protect the health of the employee.  The employee must use the provided respiratory protection in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and training provided by Layton City or a City appointed recognized professional. 

Department directors ensure that respirators used for personal protection are selected on the basis of those hazards, which have been identified, the concentration and risk of exposure to those hazards and the following criteria:

1.      Respirator selection, use, maintenance, storage, and qualification must be in conformance with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134 and OSHA 29 CFR 1910.103 and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) provisions under 30 CFR 11.2 (ANSI Z-88.2) 1977.

2.      Respirators must be MSHA/NIOSH certified.

3.      Respirators must be certified by the manufacturer for protection against the hazard in question.

4.      Respirators of various models and sizes should be made available so that the respirator is acceptable to, and correctly fits, the wearer.

Air-Purifying Respirators:

Any air-purifying respirator (APR), when properly selected and fitted, will significantly reduce, but will not completely eliminate, the breathing of contaminant(s) by the respirator wearer.  Improper use of respirators is dangerous. 

Air Supplying Respirators:

Air supplying respirators must be selected if any of the following conditions exist:

1.      Performing interior structural fire fighting operations.

2.      Known or potential oxygen deficiency (<19.5%) conditions exist.

3.      The identity/concentration of the contaminant(s) is unknown.

4.      The level of any contaminant exceeds either the Immediately Dangerous to  Life or Health (IDLH) Concentration Value or the Maximum Use Concentration Value.

5.      A cartridge or canister certified for protection from the contaminant does not exist.

6.      A contaminant does not have adequate warning properties.

7.      A wearer cannot be properly fitted or medically certified.

The following criteria will be met when using any type of air-supplying respirator:

1.      Department directors ensure that employees required to work in a hazardous atmosphere receive proper training prior to respirator use.

2.      Any compressed air used for air supplying respiratory protection must be certified as Grade “D” or equivalent, whether purchased in cylinders, tanks, or produced by breathing air-type compressors.

3.      All compressed air cylinders must be tested in accordance with NIOSH and U.S. Department of Transportation regulations and labeled appropriately.

Medical Evaluation

Using a respirator may place a physiological burden on employees that varies with the type of respirator worn, the job and workplace conditions in which the respirator is used, and the medical status of the employee.

Layton City employees required to use a respirator will obtain a medical evaluation to determine the employee’s ability to use a respirator, before the employee is fit tested or required to use the respirator in the workplace.  Layton City will provide additional medical evaluations annually or if:

a.      The employee reports medical signs or symptoms that are related to ability to use a respirator.

b.      A PLHCP or the employee’s supervisor informs Layton City the employee needs to be re-evaluated.

c.       Information from the respiratory protection program, including observations made during fit testing and program evaluation, indicates a need for employee re-evaluation.

d.      A change occurs in the workplace conditions (i.e., physical work effort, protective clothing, temperature) that may result in a substantial increase in the physiological burden placed on an employee.

Layton City’s preferred provider, as listed in Policy #3207, will conduct medical evaluations.  Layton City may discontinue an employee’s medical evaluations when the employee is no longer required to use a respirator.

Fit Testing

Department directors ensure that employees using any respirator with a negative or positive pressure tight-fitting facepiece be fit tested with the same make, model, style, and size of respirator that will be used.  Employees using a tight-fitting facepiece respirator must pass an appropriate qualitative fit test (QLFT) or quantitative fit test (QNFT).  Employees will be tested prior to initial use of the respirator, whenever a different respirator facepiece (size, style, model, or make) is used and at least annually thereafter.

An additional fit test will be conducted whenever the employee reports, or the PLHCP, or supervisor makes visual observations of changes in the employee’s physical condition that could affect respirator fit.  Such conditions include, but are not limited to, facial scarring, dental changes, cosmetic surgery, or an obvious change in body weight.

Fit testing of tight-fitting atmosphere-supplying respirators and tight-fitting power air-purifying respirators should be accomplished by performing quantitative fit testing in the negative pressure mode, regardless of the mode of operation (negative or positive pressure) that is used for respiratory protection.

Quantitative fit testing of these respirators should be accomplished by modifying the facepiece to allow sampling inside the facepiece in the breathing zone of the user, midway between the nose and mouth.  This requirement should be accomplished by installing a permanent sampling probe onto the surrogate facepiece, or by using a sampling adapter designed to temporarily provide a means of sampling air from inside the facepiece. 

Any modification to the respirator facepiece for fit testing should be completely removed, and the facepiece restored to NIOSH-approved configuration, before that facepiece can be used in the workplace.

Fit testing of tight-fitting air-purifying respirators should be accomplished by performing the qualitative fit test. 

Respirator Use

Every respirator wearer should receive fitting instructions prior to use including demonstrations and practice on how the respirator should be worn, how to adjust it, and how to determine if it fits properly.  Department directors ensure that a qualified trainer provides this training.   Use of respiratory protection is contingent upon the following conditions and criteria being met:

1.      All employees must have received the proper training.

2.      Respirators must be used according to manufacturer’s instructions, regulatory requirements, and selection criteria listed above.

3.      A respirator may not be used if any item of clothing, other personal protection equipment, hair, or facial hair interferes with the function or fit of the respirator.

4.      An air-purifying respirator may not be used unless appropriate air sampling or monitoring is performed to confirm that the respirator is being used within manufacturer certified limits. 

5.      Parts or attachments for one respirator type or brand may not be substituted with those of another type or brand unless specifically approved by the manufacturer(s).

6.      Respirators must be worn at all times in designated areas and may be removed only when outside of those areas.

7.      Appropriate signs, barrier markers, or solid barriers must define respirator use areas.

8.      Wherever possible, respirators will be assigned to individuals for their exclusive use.

Respirator Cartridge Work Duration

Department directors ensure that change rates for APR cartridges or canisters are established by a qualified professional based on:

1.      Hazard and risk assessment information.

2.      Environmental factors such as heat, cold, and humidity.

3.      Mixtures of contaminants that may affect the rated capacity of a cartridge or canister.

4.      Experience in similar circumstances.

On a worst-case basis, cartridges and canisters must be changed:

1.      At the first sign of warning property break-through.

2.      When end of life service monitors indicate.

3.      When air flow resistance or heat of absorbent reaction cause un-due difficulty in breathing.

4.      The canister or cartridge is damaged in such a way as to potentially effect contaminant removal ability.

Every effort must be made to avoid using worst-case as a basis for cartridge or canister change.

Respirator Inspections, Maintenance, and Storage

Department directors ensure that respirators are being inspected as required in this section.  Employees required to use respirators are responsible for the maintenance, repair, cleaning, disinfecting, and proper storage of those respirators.

Respirator Inspection:

All respirators should be inspected before and after each use.  Respirators and self-contained breathing apparatus’ not routinely used but kept ready for use should be inspected at least monthly, or more frequently as directed by the department director, to ensure that they are in satisfactory working condition and after each use.  Air and oxygen cylinders should be fully charged according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  The regulator and any warning devices must be checked to make sure that they are functioning properly.  Use the following as a guide for inspecting all types of respirators:

1.      Look over the unit for obvious damages, defects, or deteriorated rubber.

2.      Check that facepiece harness is pliable, fasteners work easily, and that there is no sign of damage, drying or other potential cause of failure.

3.      Inspect lens for damage, diminished visibility, and proper seal.

4.      Remove cover(s) of the exhalation valve(s) and check for debris, residue, or tears which could cause sticking or leakage.  Valves must be seated properly, free of tears, debris, and residue.

5.      Gaskets/”O” Rings - Inspect the cartridge holders to ensure a gasket is in place to ensure a good seal.  Inspect the gasket to be sure it has not dried out, cracked, or torn, and that it is seated properly.  Check that gaskets in the breathing hose fittings of gas masks are in place and not torn, cracked, dried out, or improperly seated.

6.      Make sure the speaking diaphragm retainer ring is tight.

7.      Make sure the correct cartridge or canister is attached.

8.      Put on the respirator and perform the following positive and negative pressure tests:

·         Cover exhalation valve while gently blowing out--the mask should push away from the face evenly.

·         Cover inhalation ports of cartridge or canister or the end of breathing hose and inhale--a vacuum should form and draw facepiece in toward the face.

A record should be kept of inspection dates and findings for respirators maintained for use.  Each department should maintain their records.

Respirator Maintenance:

Respirators should be collected, cleaned and disinfected as frequently as necessary to insure that proper protection is provided for the wearer.  Respirators maintained for emergency use should be cleaned and disinfected after each use.  The steps for cleaning and disinfecting respirators are as follows:

1.      Respirator Disassembly.  Respirators are to be taken to a clean location where the filters, cartridges, or canisters are removed and discarded after they have been damaged to prevent accidental reuse.  Disassemble facepieces by removing speaking diaphragms, demand and pressure-demand valve assemblies, hoses, or any components recommended by the manufacturer. 

2.      Cleaning.  A cleaning and disinfecting solution approved by the manufacturer is to be used. Dissolve the solution in warm water.  Using gloves, place the respirator in the solution and swirl gently.  A soft brush may be used.

3.      Rinsing.  The cleaned and disinfected respirator should be rinsed thoroughly in warm, preferably running water to remove all traces of detergent and disinfectant.  This is important for preventing dermatitis.

4.      Disinfecting.  When cleaner does not contain a disinfecting agent, respirator components should be immersed for two minutes in one of the following:

·         Hypochlorite solution (50 ppm of chlorine) made by adding approximately one milliliter of laundry bleach to one liter of water.

·         Aqueous solution of iodine (50 ppm iodine) made by adding approximately 0.8 milliliters of tincture of iodine (6-8 grams ammonium and or potassium iodide/100 cc of 45% alcohol to one liter of water.

·         Other commercially available cleansers of equivalent disinfectant quality when used as directed, if their use is recommend or approved by the respirator manufacturer.

5.      Rinsing. Thoroughly rinse in warm, preferably running water to remove all traces of disinfectant.  The importance of thorough rinsing cannot be overemphasized.  Detergents or disinfectants that dry on facepieces my result in dermatitis.  In addition, some disinfectants may cause deterioration of rubber or corrosion of metal parts if not completely removed.

6.      Drying.  The respirator should be allowed to dry on a clean surface at room temperature.  They may also be hung upside down on a clothesline, but care must be taken not to damage or distort the facepieces.

7.      Reassembly and Inspection.  The clean, dry facepieces should be reassembled and inspected in an area separate from the disassembly area to avoid contamination.  Inspect the respirators carefully for detergent or soap residue left by inadequate rinsing.  This appears most often under the seat of the exhalation valve and can cause valve leakage or sticking.

Replacement and repairs on respirators will be done only by experienced and qualified persons and only with parts designed for the respirator.  No attempt should be made to replace components or to make adjustment or repairs, which do not comply with the manufacturer’s recommendations.  Reducing/admission valves or regulators should be returned to the manufacturer or to a trained and certified technician for adjustment or repair.

Respirator Storage:

Respirators should be stored to protect against dust, sunlight, heat, extreme temperatures, excessive moisture, and/or damaging chemicals and they should be packed or stored to prevent deformation of the facepiece and exhalation valve in accordance with the following:

1.      Respirators placed at workstations and in work areas for emergency use must be easily accessible at all times and stored in compartments that are clearly marked.

2.      Respirators in or on a fire apparatus will be stored on an approved, properly designed bracket.

3.      Routinely used respirators, such as dust respirators, may be placed in plastic bags.

4.      Respirators should not be stored in places such as lockers or toolboxes unless they are in carrying cases or cartons.

5.      Respirators should be packed or stored so that the facepiece and exhalation valve will rest in a normal position and function will not be impaired by the elastomer having been stored in an abnormal position.

6.      Do not store the facepiece with the head harness over the front.  Instead, rest the harness in the facepiece itself.

Instructions for proper storage of emergency respirators, such as gas masks and self-contained breathing apparatus, are found in “use and care” instructions usually mounted inside the carrying case lid.

Identification

The department director ensures that all filters, cartridges and canisters used in the workplace are labeled and color coded with the NIOSH approved label and that the label is not removed and remains legible.

Training

Department directors ensure that employees required to use respiratory protective equipment receive training in the proper use of the equipment and its limitations.  All employees required to use respiratory protection will receive this information and training when initially assigned to a position requiring the use of respiratory equipment.  Employees must receive refresher training annually.  These Safety and Health Training sessions will include information on:

1.      Various respiratory hazards and what may happen if the respirator is not used properly.

2.      Engineering and administrative controls being used and the need for the respirator to provide added protection.

3.      Limitations of the selected respirator.

4.      Instructions, demonstrations, and practice in how the respirator should be worn, how to adjust it, and how to determine if it fits properly.  This initial fit testing will serve as a reference.  The fit test must be re-affirmed no less frequently than once a year.

5.      Proper respirator inspection, maintenance, and storage.

6.      How to recognize potential emergencies requiring respirators and the proper method of handling those situations.

Layton City employees required to use respiratory protection must receive the training described above, be given the opportunity to try on and become familiar with one of an assortment of full-face negative pressure respirators, and must pass a qualitative or quantitative fit test administered according to OSHA regulation.  This training must be completed prior to assigning an employee a respirator for use in a hazardous or potentially hazardous environment.  After attending the training sessions each employee will sign a form verifying that he/she attended the class, received written materials, and that he/she has been informed of the location of the Respiratory Protection Program policy.

Evaluation

Air monitoring and sampling must be performed to confirm the lack of or the need for respiratory protection.  Even if respirators are worn, an air-monitoring program is required.  This program should use direct reading instruments and, as necessary, air sampling to identify specific airborne contaminants and their concentrations.

Department Directors are responsible to enforce the use of respiratory protection and to annually evaluate the program as necessary to ensure it remains effective for any and all conditions present at the facility or site.

Special Requirements

A safety watch and/or buddy system must be used whenever respiratory protection is required due to potential toxins.  The buddy or safety watch must:

Monitor for signs of fatigue, heat, or cold stress.

1.      Help keep track of time until canister/cartridge change.

2.      Be observant for changing or hazardous conditions.

3.      Maintain communication with buddy.

Record Keeping

Layton City will retain written information regarding medical evaluations, fit testing, and the respirator program.  This information will facilitate employee involvement in the respirator program, assist Layton City in auditing the adequacy of the program and provide a record for compliance determinations by OSHA.

Medical evaluation records required should be retained and made available In accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1020

Fit testing records of the qualitative and quantitative fit test administered to an employee should include:

  1. The name or identification of the employee tested.
  2. Type of fit test performed
  3. Specific make, model, style, and size of respirator tested
  4. Date of test and
  5. The pass/fail results for QLFTs or the fit factor and strip chart recording or other recording of the test results for QNFTs.

Governing Law and Regulations:

Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA); 29 CFR 1910.134

Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA); 30 CFR 11.2 (ANSI Z-88.2) 1977

Regulating Agency

U.S. Department of Labor

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)

Appendix A

Fit Testing Procedures (Mandatory)

Department directors ensure that a qualified professional conducts fit testing using the following procedures.  The requirements in this appendix apply to all OSHA-accepted fit test methods, both QLFT and QNFT.

1.      The employee should be allowed to pick the most acceptable respirator from a sufficient number of respirator models and sizes so that the respirator is acceptable to, and correctly fits, the user.

2.      Prior to selection, the employee should be shown how to put on a respirator, how it should be positioned on the face, how to set strap tension and how to determine an acceptable fit.  A mirror should be available to assist the employee in evaluating the fit and positioning of the respirator.  This instruction may not constitute the employees formal training on respirator use, because it is only a review.

3.      The employee should be informed that he/she is being asked to select the respirator that provides the most acceptable fit.  Each respirator represents a different size and shape, and if fitted and used properly, will provide adequate protection.

4.      The employee should be instructed to hold each chosen facepiece up to the face and eliminate those that obviously do not give an acceptable fit.

5.      Note the more acceptable facepieces in case the one selected proves unacceptable; the most comfortable mask is donned and worn at least five minutes to assess comfort.  Assistance in assessing comfort can be given by discussing the points in item 6.  If the employee is not familiar with using a particular respirator, the employee should be directed to don the mask several times and to adjust the straps each time to become adept at setting proper tension on the straps.

6.      Assessment of comfort should include a review of the following points with the employee and allowing the employee adequate time to determine the comfort of the respirator.

        a.      Position of the mask on the nose

        b.      Room for eye protection

        c.      Room to talk

        d.      Position of mask on face and cheeks

7.      The following criteria should be used to determine the adequacy of the respirator fit:

        a.      Chin properly placed

        b.      Adequate strap tension, not overly tightened

        c.      Fit across nose bridge

        d.      Respirator of proper size to span distance from nose to chin

        e.      Tendency of respirator to slip

        f.        Self-observation in mirror to evaluate fit and respirator position.

8.      The employee should conduct a user seal check, either the negative and positive pressure seal checks described in Appendix B or those recommended by the respirator manufacturer, which provide equivalent protection to the procedures in Appendix B.  Before conducting the negative and positive pressure checks, the employee should be told to seat the mask on the face by moving the head from side to side and up and down slowly while taking in a few slow deep breaths.  Another facepiece should be selected and retested if the employee fails the use seal check tests.

9.      The test should not be conducted if there is any hair growth between the skin and the facepiece sealing surface, such as stubble beard growth, beard, mustache, or sideburns which cross the respirator sealing surface.  Any type of apparel, which interferes with a satisfactory fit, should be altered or removed.

10.    If an employee exhibits difficulty in breathing during the tests, she or he should be referred to a physician or other licensed health care professional, as appropriate, to determine whether the employee can wear a respirator while performing her or his duties.

11.    If the employee finds the fit of the respirator unacceptable, the employee should be given the opportunity to select a different respirator and to be retested.

12.    Prior to the commencement of the fit test, the employee should be given a description of the fit test and the employee’s responsibilities during the test procedures.  The description of the process should include a description of the test exercises that the employee will be performing.  The respirator to be test should be worn for at least five minutes before the start of the fit test.

13.   The fit test should be performed while the employee is wearing any applicable safety equipment that may be worn during actual respirator use, which could interfere with respirator fit.

14.   Test Exercises.

        a.      The following test exercises are to be performed for all fit testing methods prescribed in the appendix.  The employee should perform exercises, in the test environment, in the following manner:

1.      Normal breathing.  In a normal standing position, without talking, the employee should breathe normally.

2.      Deep breathing.  In a normal standing position, the employee should breathe slowly and deeply, taking caution so as not to hyperventilate.

3.      Turning head side to side.  Standing in place, the employee should slowly turn his/her head from side to side between the extreme positions on each side.  The head should be held at each extreme momentarily so the employee can inhale at each side.

4.      Moving head up and down.  Standing in place, the employee should slowing move his/her head up and down.  The employee should be instructed to inhale in the up position.

5.      Talking.  The employee should talk out loud slowly and loud enough so as to be heard clearly by the test conductor.  The employee can read from a prepared text such as the Rainbow Passage, count backward from 100, or recite a memorized poem or song. 

Rainbow Passage

When the sunlight strikes raindrops in the air, they act like a prism and form a rainbow.  The rainbow is a division of white light into many beautiful colors.  These take the shape of a long round arch, with its path high above, and its two ends apparently beyond the horizon.  There is, according to legend, a boiling pot of gold at one end.  People look, but no one ever finds it.  When a man looks for something beyond reach, his friends say he is looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

6.      Grimace.  The employee should grimace by smiling or frowning.  (This applies only to QNFT testing; it is not performed for QLFT)

7.      Bending over.  The employee should bend at the waist as if he/she were to touch his/her toes.  Jogging in place should be substituted for this exercise in those test environments such as shroud type QNFT or QLFT units that do not permit bending over at the waist.

8.      Normal breathing.  Same as exercise 1.

b.      Each test exercise should be performed for one minute except for the grimace exercise, which should be performed for 15 seconds.  The employee should be questioned by the test conductor regarding the comfort of the respirator upon completion of the protocol.  If it has become unacceptable, another model of respirator should be tried.  The respirator should not be adjusted once the fit test exercises begin.  Any adjustment voids the test, and the fit test must be repeated.

Qualitative Fit Test (QLFT) Protocols

Department directors ensure that persons administering QLFT are qualified and able to prepare test solutions, calibrate equipment and perform tests properly, recognize invalid tests, and ensure that test equipment is in proper working order.

Department directors ensure that QLFT equipment is kept clean and well maintained so as to operate within the parameters for which it was designed.

a.      Taste Threshold Screening.  The Bitrex taste threshold screening, performed without wearing a respirator, is intended to determine whether the individual being tested can detect the taste of Bitrex.

1.      During threshold screening as well as during fit testing, employees should wear an enclosure about the head and shoulders that is approximately 12 inches in diameter by 14 inches tall.  The front portion of the enclosure should be clear from the respirator and allow free movement of the head when a respirator is worn.  An enclosure substantially similar to the 3M hood assembly, parts #FT 14 and #FT 15 combined, is adequate.

2.      The test enclosure should have a ¾ inch hole in front of the employee nose and mouth area to accommodate the nebulizer nozzle.

3.      The employee should don the test enclosure.  Throughout the threshold screening test, the employee should breathe through his or her slightly open mouth with tongue extended.  The employee is instructed to report when he/she detects a bitter taste.

4.      Using a DeVilbiss Model 40 Inhalation Medication Nebulizer or equivalent, the test conductor should spray the Threshold Check Solution into the enclosure.  This Nebulizer should be clearly marked to distinguish it from the fit test solution nebulizer.

5.      The Threshold Check Solution is prepared by adding 13.5 milligrams of Bitrex  to 100 ml of 5% salt (NaCl) solution in distilled water.

6.      To produce the aerosol, the nebulizer bulb is firmly squeezed so that the bulb collapses completely, and is then released and allowed to fully expand.

7.      An initial ten squeezes are repeated rapidly and then the employee is asked whether the Bitrex can be tasted.  If the employee reports tasting the bitter taste during the ten squeezes, the screening test is complete.  The taste threshold is noted as ten regardless of the number of squeezes actually completed.

8.      If the first response is negative, ten more squeezes are repeated rapidly and the test subject is again asked whether the Bitrex is tasted.  If the employee reports tasting the bitter taste during the second ten squeezes, the screening test is completed.  The taste threshold is noted as twenty regardless of the number of squeezes actually completed.

9.      If the second response is negative, ten more squeezes are repeated rapidly and the employee is again asked whether the Bitrex is tasted.  If the employee reports tasting the bitter taste during the third set of ten squeezes, the screening test is completed.  The taste threshold is noted as thirty regardless of the number of squeezes actually completed.

10.   The test conductor will take note of the number of squeezes required to solicit a taste response.

11.    If the Bitrex is not tasted after 30 squeezes (step 10), the employee is unable to taste Bitrex and may not perform the Bitrex fit test.

12.    If a taste response is elicited, the employee should be asked to take note of the taste for reference in the fit test. 

13.    Correct use of the nebulizer means that approximately 1 ml of liquid is used at a time in the nebulizer body.

14.    The nebulizer should be thoroughly rinsed in water, shaken to dry, and refilled at least each morning and afternoon or at least every four hours.

         b.      Bitrex Solution Aerosol Fit Test Procedure.

              1.      The employee may not eat, drink (except plain water), smoke, or chew gum for 15 minutes before the test.

              2.      The fit test uses the same enclosure as described (a. 4.) above.

              3.      The employee should don the enclosure while wearing the respirator selected.  The respirator should be properly adjusted and equipped with any type particulate filter(s).

             4.      A second DeVilbiss Model 40 inhalation Medication Nebulizer or equivalent is used to spray the fit test solution into the enclosure.  This nebulizer should be clearly marked to distinguish it from the screening test solution nebulizer.

             5.      The fit test solution is prepared by adding 337.5 mg of Bitrex to 200 ml of a 5% salt (NaCl) solution in warm water.

             6.      As before, the employee should breathe through his or her slightly open mouth with tongue extended, and be instructed to report if he/she tastes the bitter taste of Bitrex.

             7.      The Nebulizer is inserted the hole in the front of the enclosure and an initial concentration of the fit test solution is sprayed into the enclosure using the same number of squeezes (either 10, 20, or 30 squeezes) based on the number of squeezes required to elicit a taste response as noted during the screening test.

             8.      After generating the aerosol, the employee should be instructed to perform the exercises (a 14.) of this appendix.

             9.      Every 30 seconds the aerosol concentration should be replenished using one half the number of squeezes used initially.

           10.  The employee should indicate to the test conductor if at any time during the fit test the taste of Bitrex is detected.  It the employee does not report tasting the Bitrex, the test is passed.

           11.  If the taste of Bitrex is detected, the fit is deemed unsatisfactory and the test is failed.  A different respirator should be tried and the entire test procedure is repeated (taste threshold screening and fit test).

Quantitative Fit Test (QNFT) Protocols

Quantitative fit testing will be performed using controlled negative pressure and appropriate instrumentation to measure the volumetric leak rate of a facepiece to quantify the respirator fit.  Equipment and instrumentation to perform QNFT test is housed and maintained at Fire station 51.

The department director ensures that persons administering QNFT are qualified and able to calibrate equipment and perform tests properly, recognize invalid tests, calculate fit factors properly and ensure that the test equipment is in proper working order.

The department director ensures that QNFT equipment is kept clean and well maintained and calibrated according to the manufacturer’s instructions so as to operate at the parameters for which it was designed.

Ambient aerosol condensation nuclei counter (CNC) quantitative fit testing protocol.  The ambient aerosol condensation nuclei counter (CNC) quantitative fit testing (Portacount TM) protocol quantitatively fit test respirators with the use of a probe.  A probed respirator has a special sampling device, installed on the respirator, that allows the probe to sample the air from inside the mask.  A minimum fit factor pass level of at least 100 is necessary for a half-mask respirator and a minimum fit factor pass level of at least 500 is required for a full facepiece negative pressure respirator.  The entire screening and testing procedure should be explained to the employee prior to the conduct of the screening.

a.      Portacount Fit Test Requirements.

1.      Check the respirator to make sure the sampling probe and line are properly attached to the facepiece and that the respirator is fitted with a particulate filter capable of preventing significant penetration by the ambient particles used for the fit test per manufacturer’s instruction.

2.      Instruct the employee to be tested to don the respirator for five minutes before the fit test starts.  This purges the ambient particles trapped inside the respirator and permits the wearer to make certain the respirator is comfortable.  The employee should have been trained on how to wear the respirator properly.

3.      Check the following conditions for the adequacy of the respirator fit: Chin properly placed; Adequate strap tension, not overly tightened; Fit across nose bridge; Respirator of proper size to span distance from nose to chin; Tendency of the respirator to slip; Self-observation in a mirror to evaluate fit and respirator position.

4.      Have the employee wearing the respirator do a user seal check.  If leakage is detected, determine the cause.  If leakage is from a poorly fitting facepiece, try another size of the same model respirator, or another model of the respirator.

5.      Follow the manufacture’s instructions for operating the Portacount and proceed with the test.

6.      The employee should be instructed to perform the exercises in section 1A. 14. of this appendix.

7.      After the test exercises, the employee should be questioned by the test conductor regarding the comfort of the respirator upon completion of the protocol.  If it has become unacceptable, another model of respirator should be tried.

         b.      Portacount Test Instrument.

1.      The Portacount will automatically stop and calculate the overall fit factor for the entire set of exercises.  The overall fit factor is what counts.  The pass or fail message will indicate whether or not the test was successful.  If the test was a pass, the fit test is over.

2.      Since the pass or fail criterion of the Portacount is user programmable, the test operator should ensure that the pass or fail criterion meet the requirements for minimum respirator performance in this Appendix.

3.      A record of the test needs to be kept on file, assuming the fit test was successful.  The record must contain the employee’s name; overall fit factor; make, model, style, and size of respirator used; and date tested.

Appendix B

User Seal Check Procedures (Mandatory)

An employee who uses a tight-fitting respirator is to perform a user seal check to ensure that an adequate seal is achieved each time the respirator is put on.  Either the positive and negative pressure checks listed in this appendix, or the respirator manufacturer’s recommended user seal check method should be used.  User seal checks are not substitutes for qualitative or quantitative fits tests.

Facepiece Positive and/or Negative Pressure Checks.

          c.      Positive pressure check.  Close off the exhalation valve and exhale gently into the facepiece.  The face fit is considered satisfactory if a slight positive pressure can be built up inside the facepiece without any evidence of outward leakage of air at the seal.  For most respirators this method of leak testing requires the wearer to first remove the exhalation valve cover before closing off the exhalation valve and then carefully replacing it after the test.

          d.      Negative pressure check.  Close off the inlet opening of the canister or cartridge(s) by covering with the palm of the hand(s) or by replacing the filter seal(s), inhale gently so that the facepiece collapses slightly, and hold the breath for ten seconds.  The design of the inlet opening of some cartridges cannot be effectively covered with the palm of the hand.  The test can be performed by covering the inlet opening of the cartridge with a thing latex or nitrile glove.  If the facepiece remains in its slightly collapsed condition and no inward leakage of air is detected, the tightness of the respirator is considered satisfactory.

Manufacturer’s Recommended User Seal Check Procedures.

The respirator manufacturer’s recommended procedures for performing a use seal check may be used instead of the positive and/or negative pressure check procedures provided that the manufacturer’s procedures are equally effective.

Enacted, 4/6/2004
 




 
 
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