Radiological Health Support Operations
PART 3 Respiratory Protection Program
Respiratory protection equipment includes respirators with particulate or gas-filtering cartridges, supplied air respirators,
self-contained breathing apparatus, and airline supplied-air suits and hoods.
531 General Provisions
Use of respiratory protection shall be reduced to the minimum practicable by implementing engineering controls
and work practices to contain radioactivity at the source [see 29 CFR 1910.134].
29 CFR 1910.134 establishes requirements for respiratory protection program that are applicable to most DOE
facilities. ANSI Z88.2 provides acceptable detailed guidance for implementation of the respiratory protection
program and associated training of personnel.
Respirators shall be issued only to individuals who are trained, fitted, and medically qualified to wear the specific
type of respirator. Training and qualification testing shall be performed annually [see 29 CFR 1910.134 and ANSI
Positive controls should be maintained for the issue, use, and return of respirators to ensure that only qualified
individuals wear respirators.
29 CFR 1910.134 mandates that breathing air meet the specifications of ANSI/CGA G-7.1 Grade D breathing air.
Compressed air supplied to respirators shall be tested quarterly. Compressors shall be of the breathing air type and
shall not allow oil or other chemicals and fumes to enter the breathing air supply. Special attention shall be focused
on the location of compressor air supply intakes and on cross-connections to other compressed gas systems to
prevent contamination [see 29 CFR 1910.134].
Facility safety analyses should not take credit for the use of respiratory protection for routine work involving
potential exposure to airborne radioactive materials.
532 Medical Assessment
Each prospective respirator wearer shall have a medical assessment prior to being fit-tested. The medical assessment
shall determine if an employee's medical condition precludes the use of respirators and should follow the guidance in
ANSI Z88.6 on frequency and content of the examination [see 20 CFR 1910.134 and ANSI Z88.2]. The ability of an
employee to accommodate the additional stress placed on the body when working in a respirator is part of this
533 Use of Respiratory Protection
The use of respiratory protection devices can impair worker mobility and vision and cause worker discomfort and stress.
For these reasons, the issue and use of respiratory protective devices must be controlled.