What’s the job of a Respiratory Protection Program (RPP) Administrator?
This individual is officially listed in the site’s written Respiratory Protection Program and is accountable and responsible for the day-to-day operation of the program. Some of those “day-to-day” tasks include
Maintaining the site Respiratory Protection Program
Periodical evaluation of Program implementation
Assessing the workplace for potential respiratory hazards
Defining worker exposure for these hazards
Selecting appropriate respirators to provide protection from defined hazards
Ensuring the site Respiratory Protection Program elements are implemented:
Medical evaluations are conducted of employees required to wear respirators PRIOR to fit testing
Respirators are fit tested for all required users
Respirator users are trained in respiratory hazards, and the proper use and maintenance of respirators
Proper use of respirators during routine and emergency operations
Respirators are appropriately cleaned, disinfected, stored, inspected, repaired, discarded, and maintained
Adequate compressed air quality if supplied air respirators are used.
Workers who voluntarily wear respirators (excluding filtering facepieces) comply with the medical evaluation, and cleaning, storing and maintenance requirements of the standard
All voluntary-use respirator users understand Appendix D of the standard
When does a site need a “qualified” Respirator Protection Program Administrator?
- Workers at the site are required to wear respirators for protection from respiratory hazards – and the Administrator selected these respirators.
- The Administrator trains respirator users on how to put on and take off their respirator – along with the limitations on their use, and their maintenance.
- Implementation of the site Respiratory Protection Program is one of many responsibilities of the assigned Administrator!
- Airline (atmosphere-supplying) respirators are used at the site – and the Administrator makes sure that an adequate air supply, quantity, and flow of breathing air is available.
- The Administrator coordinates the medical evaluation of employees who must use respirators.
OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officers will review these essential factors to help determine if the Respiratory Protection Program Administrator is “Qualified”:
- The written Respiratory Protection Program and interviews with the program administrator reveal an understanding of the familiarity with the respirator standard, site respiratory hazards, and the use of the respirators in the workplace.
- Respiratory fit testing is conducting annually or at assignment and the program administrator maintains.
- Hazardous airborne contaminants that employees may inhale have been identified. Reasonable estimates of employee exposures were used in determining the appropriate respirator for employees to use.
- Recent changes in the workplace such as new processes have been evaluated for necessary respiratory program changes
- The program administrator keeps a written assessment of the program operations and implements changes that may be considered as efforts toward improvement.
How does one become a qualified Respiratory Protection Program Administrator?
Focused, hands-on training with experienced health and safety instructors can make the difference for a Respiratory Protection Program Administrator – clarifying the complexity by understanding the objectives of the OSHA Standard and how it applies to each work site!
As Health and Safety consultants to many types of companies, Emilcott staff are on job sites each day and see health and safety violations such respirators perched on foreheads or tissues jammed in the sides to ensure a bitter fit. Are these problems an employee violation or a company-wide result of not understanding the importance of a competent Administrator who can develop, maintain and enforce a respirator protection program that reduces occupation risk?
In these cases, we conduct urgent and immediate on-site RPP Administrator training that often includes high level managers to ensure that there is a top to bottom understanding of the importance of proper respirator usage. In addition to our private training, the Emilcott Training Institute offers Respiratory Protection Program Administrator training courses in two formats: an intense 3-hour course with a small class size and an in-depth two-day course. In both classes, students learn the level of information required for their sites and are taught by an experienced H&S instructor that can answer questions.
So if you are unfamiliar with your required duties as an RPP Administrator or you want a better understanding of how to encourage better respirator usage by your site personnel, look around for an effective RPP Administrator training class.