Hierarchy of Controls
There exists a Hierarchy of Controls approach to achieving respiratory protection while working around agents that may potentially cause unnecessary exposure. If possible, product elimination or substitution should be implemented first. If this is not possible, use of local engineering controls such as a fume hood or local exhaust system are the next most effective and efficient means of protecting employees from potential hazards found in the breathing zone. Administrative controls can help in protecting individuals by reassessing the task to see if exposure can be minimized or eliminated, and the possibility of job rotation to reduce the exposure of any one person to acceptable levels. Lastly, when the first four methods are not feasible or cannot provide adequate protection, personal protective equipment (PPE) such as respiratory protection equipment is often required.
EH&S can provide a work site evaluation is necessary to help determine if a respirator is necessary.
A properly fitted respirator can help protect you. Choosing a respirator that fits properly and provides the protection required for a specific type of contaminant is essential. Each employee who is required to use respiratory protection equipment must be quantitatively fit tested by EH&S before any equipment can be issued. Prior to the fit test, you must be cleared medically by Occupational Health.