The Respiratory Protection Standard 29 CFR 1910.134
While trying to simplify the Respirator Standard, OSHA has again made things a bit more complicated.If you haven’t yet seen the Medical Evaluation Questionnaire (appendix C to Sec. 1910.134) you’re in for a treat:
The very first question ‘reads,’Can you read? (circle one): Yes / No
Add to this the fact that the employer is not supposed to look at or review the employee’s answers and you’ll see we have a problem right from the start!
This is a long and detailed form.
The medical questionnaire must be given during work hours and the employer must not see it, nor receive a copy of it.The employer will receive a written respirator clearance.This document lists the type of medical evaluation the employee has had and whether they have a full clearance, a pending clearance, a clearance for emergency use only, or are not approved for respirator use. Examples of information that the employee must be able to list are: type of respirator they use, type of work load they have (explained in kcal per hour), altitude in which they work (if over 5000 feet), and hazardous solvents or airborne chemicals that they are exposed to. Employees answering yes to any questions in Part A. Section 2 may need a follow-up medical examination.This follow-up shall include any medical tests, consultations, or diagnostic procedures that the Physician or Licensed Health Care Professional (PLHCP) deems necessary.Some of the questions in this section include “Do you currently or have you smoked tobacco in the last month?”“Have you ever had pneumonia, chest injuries, asthma, etc….”As you can see, you may have some medical referrals. Use common sense when choosing a health care professional.They're signing their name on the clearance that they’re giving to your employee.It's in your company’s best interest to only have employees wearing respirators that are fit enough to handle the added stress that a respirator puts on the human body.Liability for your employees rests upon the company’s shoulders.
Your health care professional will have to store all the paperwork that goes with a respirator clearance. (the graphs from the PFT, the medical questionnaire)OMY will store and gladly fax/email those results to your company physician providing that the employee signs a Medical Release Form giving us permission. If you have a medical department with a nurse or physician onsite then OSHA allows you to keep the results on your premises.We are following OSHA regulations to keep our company and YOUR company in compliance. Our name and phone number is on the medical questionnaire so that your employees can call us if they have any questions about the form.Our techs will help your employees with questions about the forms and if they can’t answer a question while onsite, a nurse or physician at our office can help.Also, our forms are in Spanish if you need them.Give us a call if we can be of service to your company.