HAZMAT Awareness

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First Responder Operations HAZWOPER

Hazmat Awareness Description

Elements of a Respiratory Protection Program

Hazmat Awareness an effective respiratory protection program requires the following elements to be in place:

• Selection of an appropriate respirator;

• Medical evaluation of the respirator users;

• Fit testing of tight-fitting respirators;

• Use of respirators in routine and foreseeable emergency situations;

• Procedures and schedules for respirator cleaning, disinfecting, storing, inspecting and repairing

• Training employees in respiratory hazards and appropriate respirator use; and

• Evaluation of respiratory protection program.

Respiratory Protection Program Administrator

To ensure that all the elements of the 40 hour HAZWOPER respiratory protection program are in place and properly implemented, the employer must designate a respiratory protection program administrator. This individual is responsible for running the program and evaluating its effectiveness in the workplace. An individual is qualified to be a program administrator if he or she has appropriate training or experience in accord with the programís level of complexity. Ultimately, the appropriate qualifications for your program administrator must be determined based on the particular respiratory hazards that exist, or that are reasonably anticipated, at your workplace.

What Level of Training Is Required for the Program Administrator?

Hazmat Awareness training or experience is appropriate if it enables the program administrator to fulfill the minimum standard requirements of recognizing, evaluating and controlling the hazards in your workplace. For example, if your program requires air-supplying respirators for use in immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) environments, your program administrator must have training and experience pertaining to the use of this type of equipment. Similarly, if your company does not use air-supplying respirators and no significant respiratory hazards have been identified at your workplace, someone with less sophisticated experience or training might be able to effectively serve in this position.

Can More Than One Person Serve as the Respirator Program Administrator?

Hazmat Awareness only one person can fulfill the primary responsibilities of running the program, unless your company has more than one worksite. Under that circumstance, you may have a program administrator for each site. Ordinarily, however, the responsibilities cannot be divided among several employees. Requiring an administrator with sole responsibility helps ensure the integrity of the program by maintaining continuous oversight by one person. Nonetheless, the administrator may rely on other employees to help run parts of the respiratory protection program (e.g., fit testing, medical evaluations).

Other Links of Interest

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