Training exercises that are performed to gain familiarity with SCBA equipment and increase competency for emergency response procedures.

Any occurrence such as, but not limited to, equipment failure, rupture of containers or failure of control equipment that may or does result in an uncontrolled significant release of an airborne contaminant.

Enclosure or confinement of the work process generating the harmful air contaminant, general and local exhaust ventilation and substitution of a less toxic material.

The atmosphere poses an immediate threat to life, could cause irreversible adverse health effects, or could impair an individual's ability to escape from a dangerous atmosphere.

Respirator usage may affect a person's health due to the type of respirator worn, the worktask being performed or because of the workplace conditions. Medical status and qualification for respirator use must be determined by UVA WorkMed. Medical Evaluations may be based on completion of a Medical Questionnaire (evaluated by UVA WorkMed) that includes: the respirator user's medical history, type of assigned respirator and a brief description of work task and conditions or; a Medical Examination administered by UVA WorkMed.

A respirator in which the air pressure inside the facepiece is negative during inhalation with respect to the ambient air pressure outside the respirator. Typical styles used by UVA personnel include half face and full face respirators fitted with chemical cartridges and filters.

The pressure inside the respirator facepiece or hood exceeds the ambient pressure outside the respirator. Typical styles used by UVA personnel include the Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR); pressure demand airline respirators and in limited applications; a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA).

An air-purifying respirator that uses a battery operated motor blower to force ambient air through air-purifying cartridges or filters into the facepiece (half-face or full-face respirator or hood).

A protocol used to determine the effective fit of the respirator. EHS will use the "Qualitative Saccharin or; Bitter Solution Aerosol Protocol".

The respirator user seals off the exhalation valve and inhalation valves momentarily to determine the respirator seats properly and there is no leakage around the respirator seal.

The respirator is atmosphere supplying. The breathing air source is an air cylinder that is carried by the user.

A respiratory inlet covering (facepiece) that forms a complete seal with the face.

The purpose of the University of Virginia's Respiratory Protection Procedures is to ensure faculty, staff and students are not exposed to harmful air contaminants. Therefore, Departments must consult first with Environmental Health & Safety (EHS), if a work environment or work process can generate and expose faculty, staff or students to harmful air contaminants. EHS will perform an Industrial Hygiene evaluation to advise on best control methodologies which is always the best course of action. If it is determined through the Industrial Hygiene evaluation that controls are not feasible or adequate, EHS will determine the appropriate respirator selection for the employee(s) involved and the work or lab process.

Departments are responsible for consulting with the EHS Industrial Hygienist or the EHS Respirator Program Administrator before allowing an employee or student to use a respirator. If EHS determines respiratory protection is necessary (or prudent) for designated individuals, the department must fulfill the following requirements on behalf of the respirator user.

  1. MEDICAL EVALUATIONS FOR FACULTY, STAFF, and OR STUDENT MEMBER - Medical Evaluations are required to determine if the potential respirator user is Medically Qualified to wear a respirator. The evaluation must be done prior to assignment to worktasks requiring respiratory protection and is repeated annually. Medical Evaluations are provided by UVA WorkMed.

  2. RESPIRATOR FIT TESTING - EHS performs and documents Qualitative Fit Testing and schedules annual fit testing for participating respirator users. Fit testing must be performed upon initial respirator assignment and then repeated annually by a qualified person for respirator users who use Tight Fitting Respirators. In addition to Negative Pressure half face and full face respirators, Tight Fitting Respirators include: face sealing facepieces used with battery operated PAPRs and SCBAs.

  3. RESPIRATOR TRAINING - Respirator users must be trained to recognize airborne hazards they can be exposed to from work operations, workplace conditions or because of the toxicity of the product they are using. Training must include:
    1. Appropriate work methods, including feasible engineering controls and personal protective equipment, which will provide protection from airborne hazards.
    2. How to properly don the respirator and perform "FIT CHECKS" to ensure a proper respirator seal.
    3. Proper respirator inspection, cleaning and storage.
    4. Understanding limitations of respirators, selecting the right chemical cartridge, filter or combination cartridge filter for the air contaminant.
    5. Recognizing when the respiratory protection may be compromised and when to leave the work environment.
    6. Faculty, staff or students are disqualified from using tight fitting respirators if facial hair will interfere with the respirator seal (e.g., facial hair on the jawbone including a day's growth of stubble). Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR) with hoods are an option if respiratory protection is required.
    7. PAPR Respirator Users shall annually review the operational use and maintenance of their assigned PAPR to maintain user proficiency and assure the PAPR is performing correctly. Annual reviews are a good opportunity to: assure batteries for the PAPR units are still properly charging; the airflow indicators are available to indicate the proper delivery of air prior to use and; the overall condition of PAPR components are satisfactory. Any components not satisfactory or missing shall be promptly replaced.

    1. Emergency Operating Procedures
      1. All personnel, assigned and qualified by training, to wear SCBAs for an Emergency Situation, must be trained on their Division's Emergency Operating Procedures. Assigned personnel with facial hair that can interfere with the respirator seal (e.g., hair on the jawbone including a day's growth of stubble) are disqualified from donning respirators. Emergency Response personnel must be trained to work as a team. Emergency Response SCBA users must be able to communicate with a team member. The team member must be readily prepared to provide direct assistance in case of equipment malfunction or other unplanned emergency.
      2. Emergency Procedures must accurately list the type of emergencies (e.g., toxic chemical spill and critical equipment malfunction) that will require action by personnel.
      3. Emergency Procedures must include the emergency response actions personnel will perform (e.g., contain and clean up chemical spill, shut off valves or secure critical equipment).
    2. Preparedness and Familiarity with SCBA Equipment
      1. All Emergency Response SCBA users must maintain their familiarity with the SCBA equipment. SCBA users must be prepared to effectively respond to emergencies donning SCBA equipment. All UVA Divisions with emergency response SCBA users must participate in periodic EMERGENCY TRAINING DRILLS (Minimum of every four months is recommended for divisions that use SCBA equipment infrequently). Minimum of twice a year is recommended for more frequent SCBA users. The EMERGENCY TRAINING DRILLS can be informal but should be similar to the emergencies in which the Division is expected to respond. Drills must be documented to support that drills are ongoing to maintain SCBA users’ proficiency with the equipment.
      2. The EHS Respirator Program Administrator can be consulted for assistance to coordinate SCBA training with manufacturer represenatives or; the Charlottesville Fire Department. However, this training does not replace the requirement for periodic EMERGENCY TRAINING DRILLS. discussed above in section (B.i).
    3. Monthly SCBA Equipment Inspections
      1. SCBAs must be inspected monthly. This is required by all SCBA Respirator Manufacturers’ Instruction Guidelines and; by Virginia Occupational Safety & Health Administration to use equipment according to manufactuer’s instructions. The determination must be made that the regulator and warning devices (bell alarm) function properly. Air cylinders must be maintained in a fully charged state. Air cylinders must be recharged when the air pressure falls to 90% of the manufacturer's recommended pressure level. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions.
      2. Certification of SCBA monthly inspections is required and should be readily accessible with the equipment. Two methods of certification are acceptable. One, the SCBA manufacturer's inspection forms and tags or the Inspection Checklist in the User's manual can be used. Secondly, the UVA Division can create their own Preventive Maintenance inspection form that includes the following information:
        1. SCBA equipment model and serial number.
        2. Inspector's name.
        3. Date of inspection.
        4. Results of the inspection and any repairs or replacements that are required to return the equipment to good working order.

ISSUED BY: Director, Environmental Health & Safety

CURRENT REVISION DATE: 7/29/2011; Last revised:08/20/2008, 01/13/2000