SALEM TOWNSHIP FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPIRATORTY PROTECTION PROGRAM

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1 SALEM TOWNSHIP FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPIRATORTY PROTECTION PROGRAM PURPOSE In accordance with Michigan s Occupational Health Standards, Part 451, Respiratory Protection requires that a written Respiratory Protection Program shall be established whenever respirators are required to be used in an occupational setting. This program is a guideline to prevent employee overexposure to atmospheric contaminants and oxygen deficient atmospheres which are potential harmful to the health. Salem Township Fire Department (STFD) shall maintain compliance with Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA), Part 451, Respiratory Protection. SCOPE and APPLICATION This written respirator program has been prepared for STFD. The Program shall apply to all STFD employees assigned to wear respirators. This respirator program shall replace any existing respirator program when approved. RESPONSIBILITIES Employer: Determine the need for respiratory protection. Establish and maintain a Respiratory Protection Program in compliance with all the requirements as outlined by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Heath Standard (MIOSHA) standard. Provide all employees in the program with respirators appropriate to the purpose intended. Employees: Wear assigned respirator when and where required and in the manner in which they were trained. Care for and maintain their respirators as instructed, and store them in a clean and sanitary location. Inform Officer if the respirator no longer fits well, and request a new one that fits properly. Inform an Officer or the Program Administrator of any respiratory hazards that are not adequately addressed in the workplace and of any other concerns regarding the program. Program Administrator The Fire Chief is the Program Administrator. This person administers or oversees the respiratory program including evaluating its effectiveness. Page 1 of 7

2 Note: The Program Administrator may designate other employees to carry out specific functions within this program. SELECTION OF RESPIRATORS IN THE WORKPLACE AND PROCEDURES FOR USE IN FIREFIGHTING It is the policy of the STFD that all personnel expected to respond and function in a potentially toxic atmosphere shall be equipped with a positive pressure Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) and trained in its proper use and care. These respirators shall be used in accordance with the manufacture s recommendations and Michigan Firefighter Training Council performance testing procedures. RESPIRATORS FOR IMMEDIATELTY DANGERIOUS TO LIFE AND HEALTH ATMOSPHERES (IDLH) Atmosphere supplying respirators operated in a positive pressure mode shall be used by all personnel working in areas where: The atmosphere is under IDLH conditions. The atmosphere is suspected under IDLH conditions. The atmosphere is rapidly coming under IDLH conditions. All interior structure fires, hazardous materials hot zone responses and confined space entries shall be considered to be IDLH, unless direct reading air monitoring proves otherwise. The STFD shall provide the following respirators for the department for use in IDLH atmospheres: A full facepiece positive pressure SCBA s certified by NIOSH for a minimum service life of thirty minutes, or; A combination full facepiece positive pressure supplied air respirator (SAR) with auxiliary self-contained air supply for emergency escape certified by NIOSH. PROCEDURES FOR INTERIOR STRUCTURE FIREFIGHTING (2 IN/ 2 OUT) At least two firefighters that enter an IDLH atmosphere shall remain in visual or voice contact with one another at all times and with the firefighters outside the IDLH atmosphere. At least two firefighters will be located outside of the IDLH atmosphere as a back up crew. All firefighters engaged in interior structural firefighting operations shall use SCBA. Page 2 of 7

3 Note: One of the two firefighters located outside of the IDLH atmosphere may be assigned an additional role such as Incident Commander or Safety Officer so long as the firefighter is able to perform assistance or rescue activities without jeopardizing the heath or safety of any firefighter working at the scene. Nothing in this section is meant to preclude firefighters from performing emergency rescue activities before an entire team is assembled. MEDICAL EVALUATIONS OF EMPLOYEES REQUIRED TO USE RESPIRATORS Using a respirator may place physiological burdens on firefighters that vary with the type of work in which the respirator is used and the medical status of the employee. Accordingly, each employee must undergo a medical evaluation to determine the employee s ability to use the respirator. All new employees must undergo a medical evaluation prior to being fit tested or required to use the respirator. The STFD shall identify a physician or other Licensed Health Care Professional (PLHCP) to administer a medical questionnaire to each firefighter. The questionnaire shall be administered confidentially. The responses to the questionnaire will determine the need for a follow up physical examination. Personnel shall have the opportunity to discuss the questionnaire and examination results with the physician or PLHCP, if so requested. After an employee has received clearance and begins to wear the respirator, additional medical evaluations will be provided under the following circumstances: Employee reports signs and/or symptoms related to their ability to use a respirator, such as shortness of breaths, dizziness, chest pains, or wheezing. Information from this program, including observations made during fit testing and program evaluation, indicated a need for reevaluation. A change occurs in the workplace conditions that may result in increased physiological burden on the employee. The Program Administrator, employee and physician would arrange an appropriate time for the exam. FIT TESTING PROCEDURES All employees wearing respirators must be fit tested with the same make, model, style, and size of the respirator that they will be used on the job. The respiratory protection Program Administrator or his representative will oversee the fit testing of the STFD employees. Page 3 of 7

4 Fit testing will be conducted on all employees who use a respirator following the initial medical evaluation, at least annually thereafter, or wherever the employer observers or receives a report of changes in the employee s physical condition that could affect the respirator fit, or the employee states that the fit of the respirator is unacceptable. Factors that may affect respirator proper fit are: Significant weight changes. Significant dental changes. Reconstructive or cosmetic facial surgery. Any other condition that would interfere with mask fit. Fit test for the respirator shall be administered using the MIOSHA acceptable quantitative fit test (QNFT) test in the negative pressure mode. The protocol used will be stated on the fit test record for each employee. PROCEDURES FOR PROPER RESPIRATOR USE Employees will use their respirators under conditions specified by this program, and in accordance with the training they receive on the use of each particular model. In addition, the respirator shall not be used in a manner for which it is not certified by NIOSH or by its manufacture. All employees shall conduct user seal checks each time they wear their respirator. Employees shall use either the positive or negative pressure checks as specified by the manufacture or as listed in the MIOSHA/OSHA Standard. Employees are not permitted to wear tight fitting respirators if they have any conditions such as facial scars, beards or other facial hair, or missing dentures that prevents them from achieving a good seal. Employees are not permitted to wear headphones, jewelry, glasses or other articles that may interfere with the facepiece-to-face seal. CLEANING, DISINFECTING, STORING, INSPECTING, REPAIRING, DISCARDING, AND MAINTAINING STFD shall provide personnel with a respirator and regulator that is sanitary and in good working order. STFD personnel shall ensure that respirators and regulators are cleaned and disinfected using the procedures recommended by the manufacture. The respirator and regulators shall be cleaned and disinfected at the following intervals: Respirators and regulators issued for the exclusive use of a firefighter shall be cleaned and disinfected as often as necessary to be maintained in a sanitary condition. Respirators used in fit testing and training shall be cleaned and disinfected after each use. Page 4 of 7

5 Respirator facepieces and regulators assigned to personnel (personal facepieces) shall be cleaned and disinfected as required by the user of the facepiece. Respirator facepieces and regulator shall be placed in a clean, dry container/bag and stored in a manner which prevents deformation of the face seal, other damage or contamination. STFD shall use the cleaning and disinfecting procedures as recommend by the manufacture of the respirator. The Program Administrator or his designee will ensure an adequate supply of appropriate cleaning and disinfection materials at the cleaning station. If the supplies are low, the employees shall contact the Program Administrator for a reorder. MAINRENANCE Respirators and regulators are to be properly maintained at all times in order to ensure that they function properly and adequately protect the firefighter. Maintenance involves a through visual inspection for cleanness and defects. Worn or deteriorated parts will be replaced prior to use. No components will be placed or repairs made beyond those recommended by the manufacture. Only the manufacture or approved manufactures representative will perform repairs to regulators or alarms of atmosphere-supplying respirators. Air cylinders shall be maintained in a fully charged state and shall be recharged when the pressure falls to 90% of the manufacture s recommend pressure level. STFD shall determine that the warning devices function properly. STFD personnel shall: Certify the respirators or regulator by documenting the date of the inspection was performed (at least monthly), the name (signature) of the person who made the inspection, the findings, required remedial action, and a serial number or any other means of identify the inspected respirator. o Document all of the above information on the monthly Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) inspection report. If any respirator or regulator is found to have failed an inspection or otherwise found to be defective, they are to be removed from service until they have been repaired or replaced with a new respirator or regulator. o All repairs or adjustments on respirators and regulators are to be made only by persons who are appropriately trained and those repairs must be done according to the manufacture s recommendation and specifications. SCBA repairs, including but not limited to reducing and admission valves, regulators, and alarms shall be adjusted or repaired only by manufacture or a technician trained by the manufacturer. Page 5 of 7

6 QUALITY AND QUANTITY OF BREATING AIR Breathing air in the SCBA cylinder shall meet the requirements of the Compressed Gas Association G , Commodity Specification for Air, with a minimum air quality of Grade D air. Private vendors supplying STFD with compressed breating air shall provide a copy of the most recent inspection and certification. A competent laboratory shall check the purity of the air from the compressor annually. Only trained personnel shall fill SCBA cylinders. Compressed oxygen shall NOT be used in open circuit SCBA s. STFD shall ensure that cylinders used to supply breathing air to respirator meet the following requirements: Cylinders are tested and maintained as prescribed in the Shipping Container Specification. The US Department of Transportation (49 CFR 173 and 178) test requirements of three five years for composite cylinders. SCBA cylinder will be taken out of service as required per state and federal guidelines. RESPIRATORY HAZARDS AND TRAINING ON RESPIRATOR USE STFD will require all firefighters to train on the use of the respirators annually. Each firefighter will have to demonstrate knowledge of the following criteria: Why it is necessary and how improper fit, usage, or maintenance can comprise the protective effectiveness of the respirator. What the limitation and capabilities are of the respirator. How to use the respirator effectively in emergency situations, including situations in which the respirator malfunctions. How to inspect, don and doff the respirator, use and checking of the seals of the respirator. What procedures are for the maintenance and storage of the respirator. How to recognize medical; signs and symptoms that may limit or prevent the effective use of the respirator The general requirements of this program. PROCEDURES FOR EVALUATING THE RESPIRATOR PROGRAM Each year the program shall be reviewed. All firefighters who wear, service or supervise firefighters wearing respirators shall be periodically be asked to provide information on: Adequacy of the respirators being used. Page 6 of 7

7 Accidents and incidents in which the respirator failed to provide adequate protection. Adequacy of training and maintenance on the respirator use. The Program Administrator shall recommend changes in the program and its implementation based on this information. RECORDKEEPING STFD will keep the following records: Medical evaluation records. Fit testing records. Firefighting training in the use of the respirator (i.e. date, attendees, trainer(s), subject mater). This procedure may be modified by the Officer-in-Charge for extenuating or unusal circumstances which may hinder the Department s delivery of services or compromise the safety of its personnel. Effective: 27 Aug, 2017 Reviewed: jcr Revised: A.1 Page 7 of 7

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