1.0 Introduction

1.1 Policy

It is the policy of the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) to provide faculty, staff, students and visitors with a safe and healthy learning, research, and work environment. The UNR Environmental Health & Safety Department will provide guidance on the selection, use, care, and maintenance of respiratory protective equipment and develop procedures for their safe use.

All activities involving the use of respiratory protective equipment including but not limited to operations, maintenance and research activities in all facilities controlled by the University of Nevada, Reno shall be conducted in compliance with the provisions of this program.

This policy is intended to meet the requirements of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Respiratory Protection Standard 29 CFR 1910.134.

1.2 Purpose

The purpose of the Respiratory Protection Program is to protect employees against harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays, bioaerosols, and vapors, through the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). If effective engineering or administrative controls are not feasible, respirators shall be provided by the University when such equipment is necessary to protect the health of the employee.

This program will be implemented to ensure there are specific practices and procedures in place to safeguard employees who, during their normal duties, are or could be, exposed to hazardous airborne contaminants.

1.3 Scope

This program applies to, but is not limited to, any individual whose work requires the use of respiratory protection.

Where effective engineering controls are not feasible, or when they are being used but they do not adequately control exposures below permissible exposure limits personal protective equipment shall be used.

Respiratory protective equipment is required for work in environments with radioactive or chemical exposure levels exceed acceptable limits, when a risk assessment determines that airborne exposure to infectious agents is likely, and during some emergency response situations such as clean-up of some hazardous materials spills. Respiratory protective equipment may also be required for work in confined spaces or for short-term projects where engineering controls are not practical.