Small Business Brief

Safety & Loss Prevention

How Does OSHA Respiratory Protection Training Work?

Pulmonary (aka respiratory) issues have been getting more attention over the last decade or so. Nearly 16 million Americans were diagnosed with some form of respiratory disease last year alone.

While some causes are self-inflicted (looking at you, smokers), there are also many cases that are caused by an individual’s work conditions.

Employers are required to offer OSHA training and a safe workplace – including safety training pertinent to their positions. Therefore, OSHA respiratory protection training and implementation via approved materials are not only prudent – they are a requirement.

Whether you’re an employee or an employer, you need to consider the following when it comes to respiratory protection around hazardous materials.

OSHA Respiratory Protection

Respiratory protection training is a vital requirement on a job site that involves the potential handling of airborne hazardous materials.

If you are subject to these conditions, your employer is required to either provide you with “in-house” safety training or pay for a course that meets OSHA standards. 

This isn’t just important to meet a requirement, it’s important because it can help protect you or your employees from long-term health issues.

On-The-Job Safety Programs

It’s not just important, it’s required that every employer that employs people who might come across hazards while on company time have to implement some form of safety training, monitored in part by OSHA.

Employees who empty trash cans in a public area must undergo training that has been pre-approved by the local government and OSHA to keep them safe.

Otherwise, if they end up with some sort of injury or blood-borne illness, your company or organization is liable for negligence.

Gather Your Materials

Like any good training program facilitator, you should pick up some “dry-run” training materials to mock up a live emergency.

Pick up a respirator, oxygen tank, and eye protection. Test the equipment.

Gather up any other dust or fume screens you might need, depending on your job site. For heaven’s sake, make sure you’ve got some eyewash on hand!

Run A Quick Mock Emergency

Treat it like a fire drill. Pretend you’ve got a dust storm or some kind of major chemical leak – the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Use the practice-run gear you acquired that we talked about above and have your crew run an unannounced emergency, for example.

Fold It In with CPR/First Aid Training

A great aspect of OSHA respiratory protection training is the fact that it gives you an opportunity to fold it in with CPR and First Aid Training. The more staff members that you have certified, the better prepared your company will be in the event of an emergency.

Keep Checking Back

We’re here to help small businesses keep up with the resources of the big box folks. If this article has you breathing a little about OSHA requirements, make sure to check back soon and often!