Training is required for any employee wearing respirators. Training must cover why respirators needed, their limitations, how to clean and maintain and how to use. If you don’t know how to use a respirator properly, you can get a false sense of protection. Training should be done for exposed workers prior to wearing a respirator and then annually thereafter. Fit testing and medical evaluations will need to be done as well as how to don and doff the proper protective equipment. Sometimes you can practice using your own respirator. Some escape respirators come in a package that must remain sealed until use, so you need to be trained using a special “practice” version. Training is extremely important in regard to the storage, maintenance, use, and discarding of the respirator. This information is provided by the supplier of the respirator (i.e. seller, distributor, or manufacturer).
If you do not use a respirator correctly, it is very likely that it will not protect you-and may even hurt you. The following information will help you understand what a respirator is, and how it should be used.