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OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard (29CFR 1910.134)

Respiratory Protection Adviser


Appendix D: Voluntary Use of Respirators,
                     Mandatory Employee Information

Respirators are an effective method of protection against designated hazards when properly selected and worn.  Respirator use is encouraged, even when exposures are below the exposure limit, to provide an additional level of comfort and protection for workers. However, if a respirator is used improperly or not kept clean, the respirator itself can become a hazard to the worker. Sometimes, workers may wear respirators to avoid exposures to hazards, even if the amount of hazardous substance does not exceed the limits set by OSHA standards. If your employer provides respirators for your voluntary use, you need to take certain precautions to be sure that the respirator itself does not present a hazard.

You should do the following:

  1. Read and follow all instructions provided by the manufacturer on use, maintenance,
    cleaning and care, and warnings regarding the respirators limitations.

  2. Choose respirators certified for use to protect against the contaminant of concern.NIOSH, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, certifies respirators. A label or statement of certification should appear on the respirator or respirator packaging. It will tell you what the respirator is designed for and how much it will protect you.

  3. Do not wear your respirator into atmospheres containing contaminants for which your respirator is not designed to protect against. For example, a respirator designed to filter dust particles will not protect you against gases, vapors, or very small solid particles of fumes or smoke.
  4. Keep track of your respirator so that you do not mistakenly use someone else's respirator

(Taken from Appendix D to 29 CFR 1910.134, OSHA Respiratory Protection)

Voluntary Use Agreement Form

Employee Name :  ________________________     ________________________
                                     (last)                                          (first)

Department :   ___________________________

Employee ID#:  __________________________

I have read and understood the information provided above regarding voluntary respirator use.


____________________________________            ___________________

Employee Signature                                                   Date

The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.