Respirator Exams ~ Skip the Office Visit!


Do your employees wear respirators?  If so, OSHA requires you to implement a “Respiratory Protection Program”.  One of the mandatory elements of these programs is to medically evaluate each employee before they are fit tested or initially wear a respirator.  If your company falls under OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard, then you probably already know this… but did you know that you are NOT required to actually send your employees to a clinic for this evaluation?  OSHA’s regulation on medical evaluations for respirators is found in 1910.134(e)(2)(i) and it reads…

The employer shall identify a physician or other licensed health care professional (PLHCP) to perform medical evaluations using a medical questionnaire or an initial medical examination that obtains the same information as the medical questionnaire.

There are many physicians who will review these medical questionnaire’s without seeing the employee in the office, and possibly approve them for respirator use (if the employee meets certain criteria).  Taking advantage of this avoids the additional cost and time involved with traveling to/from the clinic, sitting in the waiting room, and visiting with the medical staff.

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