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Respiratory Protection Policy


To establish uniform administrative procedures and minimum requirements related to respiratory protection.

  1. Scope and Application:
    1. In the control of those occupational diseases caused by breathing air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, mists, gases, smokes, sprays or vapors, the primary objective shall be to prevent atmospheric contamination. This shall be accomplished as far as feasible by accepted engineering control measures (for example, enclosure or confinement of the operation, general, and local ventilation, and substitution of less toxic materials). When effective engineering controls are not feasible, or while they are being instituted, appropriate respirators shall be used.
  2. Administrative Aspects
    1. Respirators shall be provided by the University when such equipment is necessary to protect the health of the employee or when requested by the employee. The University shall provide respirators which are applicable and suitable for the purpose intended.
    2. Departments shall bear the cost of respiratory protective equipment, the cost of miscellaneous supplies and expenses, and the cost of medical evaluations required by the Respiratory Protection Program.
    3. Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) shall be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of a respiratory protective program.
    4. Only respiratory protective equipment approved by Environmental Health and Safety and listed in the written Respiratory Protection Program shall be purchased or utilized.
    5. Only employees authorized by Environmental Health and Safety shall use respiratory protective equipment.
    6. Respirators, requiring a face to respirator seal, shall not be worn when conditions prevent a good face seal. Such conditions are a growth of beard, side burns, a skull cap that projects under the facepiece, or temple piece of glasses. Departments should make a reasonable effort to find alternative work for employees who may be religiously discriminated against by the facial hair policy.
    7. Medical evaluations shall be conducted by St. Luke's Hospital, Department of Occupational Medicine.
    8. The supervising department shall notify Environmental Health and Safety prior to assigning an employee to a task that could require the use of a respiratory protective device.
    9. Employees shall utilize and maintain respiratory protective equipment in accordance with procedures established by Environmental Health and Safety.
    10. The supervising department shall ensure employees comply with the provisions of Lehigh University's Respiratory Protection Program.
    11. Exceptions to this policy and the respiratory protection program shall require the approval of the Director, Environmental Health and Safety.
For more information regarding this policy, contact Environmental Health and Safety 610-758-4251.

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