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Respiratory Protection
Respiratory Protection Programs protect employees from occupational exposure to harmful air contaminants. Employees require respiratory protection when they work in environments with insufficient oxygen or where they are exposed to harmful dust, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smoke, vapors, or sprays.

The proper application of respiratory protection procedures can prevent approximately 4,000 injuries and illnesses annually as well as 900 deaths from cancer and other chronic diseases.

FOH assists federal agencies to develop and manage of all facets of Respiratory Protection Programs.

Agencies can rely on FOH to conduct a thorough hazard assessment, make accurate recommendations, and develop a comprehensive written program. FOH’s services also include timely informational updates to keep agency managers informed of changes to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Respiratory Protection Standard.

FOH’s respiratory protection services include:

  • Exposure assessments to determine the type and amount of hazard exposure
  • Recommendations as to types of respirators that are required or will best protect workers on the job. The types of respirators include:
    • Air purifying – contains a filter, cartridges or canisters that remove contaminants from the air by passing the ambient air through the air-purifying element before it reaches the user.
    • Atmosphere-supplying - supplies clean air directly to the user from a source other than the air surrounding the user.
  • Medical evaluations – FOH will administer the OSHA required questionnaire and medical exam to determine employee health and physical fitness, if necessary
  • Respiratory fit testing Evaluation– FOH tests the effectiveness of the fit of the respirators in two ways:
    • A qualitative pass/fail test that relies on subject sensory response to detect the testing agent
    • A quantitative test that uses an instrument to measure the test agent inside and outside the respirator
  • Training – Required initial or annual respirator training provided by professionally trained FOH staff. Training programs are available in a “stand alone” format or in conjunction with fit testing. Training topics include:
    • Proper selection of respirator and face-piece
    • How to put on (don) and take off (doff) respirators
    • Care, use, and maintenance of respirators
    • Service life of respirator cartridges
  • Informational updates - FOH’s timely updates keep agencies informed about new developments in respiratory protection. For example, OSHA has proposed amending the existing Respiratory Protection Standard to incorporate new Assigned Protection Factors (APFs). APFs represent a numeric value that indicates the level of respiratory protection that a properly functioning respirator is expected to provide to a properly fitted and trained employee.
FOH’s Respiratory Protection Program provides everything from assessment to training and ongoing program improvement. We offer a one-stop approach to developing a fully comprehensive Respiratory Protection Program. Contact us today to learn more!

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