Respiratory Protection Program

Originator: Safety and Health Services
Approver: Director of Safety and Health Services, WSH Advisory Committee, WSH Committees
Effective: October 24, 2019
Last Reviewed: New

1.0 Guiding Principles

1.1

Red River College (RRC) is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its staff, students, volunteers and users. Following the Respiratory Protection Program Safety & Health Services Code of Practice is designed to meet or exceed the minimum requirements of Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Legislation.

2.0 Definitions (if required)

2.1

Air purifying Respirator: A respirator with an air-purifying filter, cartridge or canister that removes specific air contaminants by passing ambient air through the air-purifying element. Air purifying respirators can only be used when adequate oxygen is available. Examples of air-purifying respirators are half-face respirators, full-face respirators and Powered Air-purifying respirators (PAPR).

2.2

Atmosphere-Supplying Respirator: A respirator that supplies the respirator user with breathing air/gas from a source independent of the ambient atmosphere. Examples of atmosphere-Suppling respirators are Airline Respirators and Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA).

2.3

Bioaerosol: A liquid droplet (generated, for example, by coughing, sneezing, or a medical procedure such as bronchoscopy) or a solid particle suspended in the air that is living or originates from living organisms. Bioaerosols include living or dead microorganisms, fragments, toxins and particulate waste products from all varieties of living things. They are capable of causing infection, adverse or allergic response.

2.4

Clean-shaven: Although the rate of hair growth varies, for many this requires being clean-shaven within the previous 24 or preferably 12 hours to ensure that facial hair neither infringes on the sealing surface of the respirator nor interferes with valve or respirator function.

2.5

Contractor: A person, who, pursuant to one or more contracts, directs the activities of one or more employers or self-employed persons involved in work at a workplace that is owned or occupied by the College.

2.6

Employer:

2.6.1

Every person who, by himself or his agent or representative employs or engages one or more workers,

2.6.2

And The Crown and every agency of the government.

2.7

Fit-test: A quantitative or qualitative method to evaluate the fit of a specific make, model and size of respirator on an individual. It consists of completion of a health questionnaire, training on the use and care of the respirator, how to perform a user seal check, and obtain a satisfactory fit with an air-purifying respirator. Refer to the Respirator Fit-testing Code of Practice (SHS-3) for more information.

2.8

Fit-tester: A qualified person through experience and training to conduct accurate and appropriate fit-tests for respirators.

2.9

Full-face Respirator: An air-purifying respirator that forms a tight seal and covers the entire face and chin (providing a higher level of protection while protecting the eyes and face).

2.10

Half-face Respirator: An air-purifying respirator that forms a tight seal and covers the nose and chin.

2.11

N95: NIOSH classification for a particulate filter effective against particulate aerosols free of oil. Eg. Healthcare settings use N95 air-purifying respirators for protection against bioaerosols.

2.12

NIOSH: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is the United States federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. NIOSH is part of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIOSH is recognized internationally as the main approval body for respiratory protective equipment and as such is referenced in the CSA standard.

2.13

P100: NIOSH classification for particulate filters effective against all particulate aerosols. Eg. Welding uses P100 filters attached to air-purifying respirators.

2.14

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Refers to any equipment and or clothing used by an individual to minimize exposure to a specific occupational hazard. PPE is used when a hazard itself cannot be removed or controlled adequately. PPE does not eliminate or reduce the hazard, nor does it guarantee total protection. PPE may include items such as gloves, safety glasses, shoes, hearing protection, hard hats, respirators, coveralls, vests and full body suits. Refer to Personal Protective Equipment Code of Practice SHS-1 for more information.

2.15

Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR): An air-purifying respirator that filters out contaminates in the air with the use of a powered blower. PAPR’s are only issued for use through Safety & Health Services (SHS) for medical or religious accommodations.

2.16

Quantitative Fit-test: A fit-test method that uses an instrument to assess the amount of leakage into the respirator in order to assess the adequacy of the respirator fit.

2.17

Respiratory Hazard: Biological/infectious agents, chemical vapours, fumes and airborne particles that have a risk associated with them.

2.18

Respiratory Program Administrator: Individual with responsibility to co-ordinate and monitor the Respirator Protection Program. SHS staff are the Respiratory Program Administrator at RRC.

2.19

Risk assessment: A process that involves measurement of risk, taking into account severity, frequency and probability, to determine priorities and to enable identification of appropriate level of risk control measures.

2.20

Safe Work Procedure (SWP): A step-by-step procedure that states how to perform a job safely and how to respond to a safety risk in an appropriate manner.

2.21

Safety and Health Services (SHS): A mandated department responsible for providing a safe environment for staff, students and visitors. SHS works in conjunction with Academic programs, Facility Maintenance, Security Services and the Workplace Safety and Health Committee.

2.22

Supervisor: A person who is in charge of a workplace or has authority over a worker (Eg. Chair, Manager, Instructor, Director, etc).

2.23

User Seal Check: An action conducted by the respirator user to determine if the respirator is properly fitted to the face prior to each use.

2.24

Worker: Any person who is in an employment relationship with the College and includes:

2.24.1

Any person who is employed by the College to perform a service whether for gain or reward or not.

2.24.2

Volunteers

2.24.3

Students

2.25

Workplace Safety and Health Committee (WSHC): An established group consisting of both management and worker representation committed to improving safety and health conditions and acting as a resource among the Red River College Community.

3.0 Requirements and Considerations (if required)

3.1

As per WSH Legislation, RRC is required to develop, implement and maintain a Respiratory Protection Program. The Respiratory Protection Program is comprised of ten (10) elements as outlined in CSA Standards Z94.4-11 (reaffirmed 2016) “Selection, use and care of respirators”. Refer to Appendix A for RRC’s Respiratory Protection program.

3.2

Respirators are not a substitute for more effective control methods and its use will be considered only when other means of protection against hazards are not adequate or feasible. Respiratory Protection will be used in conjunction with other controls unless no other means of hazard control exists.

3.3

All workers that have the potential to be exposed to bioaerosols, chemical vapours, fumes and airborne particles at levels that require a respirator shall be fit-tested and trained on the proper use and care of respirators. Refer to Respirator fit-testing Code of Practice SHS-3.

3.4

Workers and students MUST be clean-shaven where the seal of the respirator comes in contact with the skin on the face or neck everytime they are to wear a respirator.

3.5

Contractors are required to develop and implement a respiratory protection program for their employees who must enter into or work in areas where exposure to hazardous materials cannot be controlled or avoided at RRC. This program must meet Manitoba WSH regulations and include issuance of respirators, medical evaluations, fit testing and training.

4.0 Procedure (if required)

4.1

Refer to Appendix A which outlines RRC’s comprehensive Respiratory Protection Program.

4.2

Students will be excluded from course work if they have not been fit-tested for a NIOSH approved respirator prior to their need to wear one.

4.3

Respiratory Protection exemptions to accommodate religious beliefs or for medical reasons may be implemented if recognized by Workplace Safety and Health. A full assessment of the occupational hazard(s) shall be conducted prior to a Respiratory Protection Program exception being considered. Exemptions will not be considered or implemented if it increases the risk of injury or illness.

4.3.1

Staff and students requesting an accommodation for medical or religious belief should refer to Respirator Fit-testing Code of Practice (SHS-3).

4.4

For staff, violation of the WSH Act and its WSH Regulation, RRC Policies, SHS Codes of Practice, and Safe Work Procedures, shall result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

4.5

For students, violation of the WSH Act and its WSH Regulation, RRC Policies, SHS Codes of Practice, and Safe Work Procedures, shall result in disciplinary action in accordance with College Policy S2 – Student Discipline.

5.0 Responsibilities (if required)

5.1

Departments or Programs will:

5.1.1

Take all precaution necessary to protect the safety and health of a worker under his or her supervision.

5.1.2

Ensure that a worker or student under their supervision, follows RRC Policies, SHS Codes of Practice, Safe Work Procedures, and WSH Act and Regulations.

5.1.3

Ensure that a worker under their supervision uses all devices and wears all clothing and PPE designated or provided by the employer.

5.1.4

Seek guidance and information from SHS for respiratory protection standards when required.

5.1.5

Advise all workers of respirator fit-testing requirements prior to work assignments that require a respirator.

5.1.6

Advise students of respirator requirements before course or assignment commencement.

5.1.7

Ensure that fit-testing and training are completed prior to assigning a worker and student any task that requires the use of a respirator.

5.2

Supervisors will:

5.2.1

Take all precaution necessary to protect the safety and health of a worker under his or her supervision.

5.2.2

Ensure that a worker or student under their supervision, follows RRC Policies, SHS Codes of Practice, Safe Work Procedures, and WSH Act and Regulations.

5.2.3

Ensure that a worker under their supervision uses all devices and wears all clothing and PPE designated or provided by the employer.

5.2.4

Consult with workers and utilize a risk assessment tool to determine respiratory hazards associated with their work. Refer to Appendix B for examples of when respiratory protection may be required.

5.2.5

Consult with SHS to determine the workers risk to respiratory hazards.

5.2.6

Consult with SHS to select appropriate respiratory protection when respiratory hazards are present.

5.2.7

Develop SWP’s for tasks requiring the use of respiratory protection.

5.2.8

Identify and arrange fit-testing for all workers that are required to wear a respirator.

5.2.9

Ensure that fit-testing and training are completed prior to assigning a worker any task that requires the use of a respirator. Refer to SHS-3 (Respirator Fit-Testing) for more information.

5.2.10

Inform students of their respirator fit-testing requirements prior to them starting their courses.

5.2.11

Provide appropriate respirators for workers as required.

5.2.12

Monitor compliance with respiratory protection.

5.2.13

Ensure respirators are stored appropriately.

5.2.14

Immediately repair or replace respiratory protection if defective, damaged or contaminated with a hazardous substance for staff.

5.2.15

Immediately repair or replace respiratory protection if defective, damaged or contaminated with a hazardous substance for students.

5.3

Worker/Student will:

5.3.1

Follow RRC Policies, Codes of Practice, and Safe Work Procedures.

5.3.2

Attend respirator fit-testing as appropriate for the type of respiratory hazard to which they may be exposed.

5.3.3

Wear the appropriate respirator to perform their job safely in accordance with the instructions and training received during their fit-test.

5.3.4

Ensure that respirator is inspected for defects prior to use.

5.3.5

Perform a positive and negative pressure fit check prior to entering the hazardous area.

5.3.6

Ensure that respirators are being worn, stored and cleaned (non-disposable) correctly.

5.3.7

Report respirator defects or damage immediately to their supervisor and obtain a replacement respirator.

5.3.8

Report any concerns with the use of respiratory protection immediately to their supervisor.

5.3.9

Ensure that personal hygiene requirements are followed to ensure proper fit of the respirator. Workers and students must be clean-shaven where the respirator seals on the face or neck.

5.3.10

Refer to Respirator Fit-Testing Code of Practice SHS-3 for more information about fit testing.

5.3.11

Report any changes to health status that may affect the use of respiratory protection to the Health Services Department.

5.3.12

Wear only the respirator for which they have been successfully fit-tested.

5.4

Respiratory Program Administrator will:

5.4.1

Co-ordinate and monitor the Respiratory Protection Program and ensure that each element of the program is implemented and reviewed annually.

5.4.2

Co-ordinate the health evaluation process of workers with Health Services to determine their fitness to wear a respirator.

5.4.3

Ensure fit-testing equipment is calibrated on an annual basis.

5.4.4

In conjunction with SHS staff, assist departments with:

5.4.4.1

Evaluating tasks for which respiratory protection may be necessary

5.4.4.2

Determining the degree of hazard posed by the potential exposure.

5.4.4.3

Determining whether engineering or administrative controls are feasible

5.4.4.4

Determining which respiratory protection device is to be used for each task

5.4.4.5

Training workers in the selection and use of respiratory protection.

5.4.4.6

Maintaining all program records

5.4.4.7

Providing Health Services with any health-related records to be stored in a confidential manner.

5.5

Safety & Health Services will:

5.5.1

Assist Departments and Programs in selecting the appropriate respiratory protection.

5.5.2

Conduct workplace hazard assessments to determine the presence of hazards that necessitate the use of respiratory protection.

5.5.3

Provide training, guidance, and assistance to Supervisors and workers on the proper use, care, cleaning and limitations of approved respiratory protection.

5.5.4

Review, update, and evaluate the overall effectiveness of respiratory protection use, training, and Codes of Practice.

5.5.5

Provide quantitative fit-testing opportunities for workers and students required to wear a respirator.

5.5.6

Upon request provide information to supervisors regarding the fit-test status of their workers

5.5.7

Work with industries to ensure the respirators that are used for fit-testing at RRC match industry requirements (eg. Ensuring nursing students are fit-tested for provincially chosen N95 air-purifying respirator).

5.5.8

Maintain fit-test questionnaires for all workers and students that are fit-tested.

5.5.9

Manager PAPR’s required for medical or religious accommodations.

5.6

Health Services will:

5.6.1

Provide further assessment prior to fit-testing if a worker, student or fit-tester has concerns about the ability of the user to wear a respirator. Health Services will notify SHS if a fit-test can occur after this assessment is performed.

5.7

Workplace Safety and Health Committee will:

5.7.1

Perform workplace inspections and document any discrepancies with PPE usage.

5.7.2

Review and provide feedback on department specific Codes of Practice

5.8

Contractor will:

5.8.1

Wear all required respiratory protection as required based on the type of construction/repair/maintenance they are conducting.

6.0 References (if required)

6.1

Government of Manitoba. (2002). the Workplace Safety and Health Act – W210

6.2

Government of Manitoba. (2006). the Workplace Safety and Health Regulation – 217/2006. Part 6.15

6.3

CSA standards Association: Standard Z94.4-11 (reaffirmed 2016) Selection, Use and Care of Respirators

6.4

Red River College’s Safety Policy – E1

6.5

Red River College Personal Protection Equipment Code of Practice – SHS-1

6.6

Red River College Respirator Fit-testing Code of Practice – SHS-3

Appendices