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Page Title: Medical Screening and Fit-Testing Procedures Required Before Using a Respirator
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2.  The contaminant is of such high concentration of toxicity that an air-purifying respirator is inadequate We  classify  supplied-air  respirators,  also  called  air- line  respirators,  as  demand,  pressure-demand,  and continuous-flow  respirators.  This  respirator  can  be  used in IDLH situation areas if operated in the pressure demand  mode.  It  must  also  be  equipped  with  an auxiliary,  self-contained  air  supply  of  at  least  15 minutes. The breathing air source for air-line respirators must meet  at  least  the  minimum  requirements  for  grade  D breathing air. A ship’s LP air is NOT suitable for use as breathing air unless it is specifically tested and certified to meet purity standards. A  self-contained  breathing  apparatus  (SCBA) allows  you  complete  independence  from  a  fixed  source of air. It allows the greatest degree of protection but is also  the  most  complex.  The  SCBA  provides  protection in   oxygen-deficient   environments   or   other environments dangerous to life or health. The SCBA is equipped with a bottle of compressed air and is used in hazardous material spill kits. Medical Screening and Fit-Testing Procedures Required Before Using a Respirator Before personnel can use a respirator, they must be medically  screened  and  fit-tested.  The  ship’s  Hospital Corpsman, medical officer, or shore medical support clinic conducts the medical screening. Ashore, the clinic Occupational  Health  Division  conducts  medical screening  for  civilian  workers.  The  purpose  of  the screening is to ensure that respirator users have no medical   condition   that   inhibits   their   wearing   a respirator.  The  screening  also  reviews  the  user’s  health record and potential for ill effects from working in a health-hazardous  atmosphere. A  respirator  mask  must  properly  seal  around  the user’s face to keep contaminated air from leaking into the mask. There are different brands, models, and sizes of  respirators,  all  of  which  fit  differently.  Trained personnel   from   shore   medical   commands, environmental  and  preventive  medicine  units,  or occupational  safety  and  health  offices  fit-test  respirator masks on potential users. First they have potential respirator users don a mask; then they test for leakage around  the  facepiece  to  ensure  it  seals  properly.  Afloat, larger ships and tenders, with primary duty safety officers,  have  trained  fit-test  personnel.  Shore  support is  provided  to  smaller  ships.  OPNAVINST  5100.23C, chapter 15, and OPNAVINST 5100.19B, chapter B6, give medical screening and fit-testing procedures. PERSONAL  PROTECTIVE  CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT Personal  protective  equipment  (PPE)  protects  the user in a hazardous environment. Any PPE breakdown, failure, or misuse immediately exposes the wearer to the hazard. Many protective devices, through misuse or improper maintenance, can become ineffective without the  wearer  knowing  it.  OPNAVINST  5100.23C,  chapter 20, and OPNAVINST 5100.19B, chapter B12, provide information on PPE and PPE issue. Personal  protective  devices  do  not  reduce  or eliminate the hazard itself. They merely set up a “last line of defense.” Any equipment breakdown, failure, or misuse immediately exposes the worker to the hazard. PPE is used as an interim measure or when engineering controls  cannot  be  applied. Design and Construction of Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment All personal protective clothing and equipment should be designed and constructed to allow work to be performed safely. Therefore, extensive research and testing have been conducted to develop standards and specifications  for  the  design  and  construction  of personal  protective  clothing  and  equipment. The federal government requires that personal protective clothing and equipment meet these standards and  specifications.  Therefore,  the  government  only recognizes the certification and approval of certain agencies.  Those  agencies  include  the  following: National  Fire  Protection  Association  (NFPA) American  National  Standards  Institute  (ANSI) Mine  Safety  and  Health  Administration  (MSHA) Occupational  Safety  and  Health  Administration (OSHA) National  Institute  for  Occupational  Safety  and Health  (NIOSH) All  crewmembers  must  wear  the  required  personal protective clothing and equipment. Workers should notify their supervisor immediately if the required clothing or equipment is not available to do the assigned work. Workers should also notify their supervisor if they need instruction on how to wear or use the clothing or 5-20

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