Why do I need to comply with OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard 29 CFR 1910.134?

Why do I need to comply with OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard 29 CFR 1910.134?

Compliance with OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard, 29 CFR 1910.134, is crucial for several reasons:
  1. Employee Safety: The primary reason is to protect your employees' health and safety. Workers in certain industries are exposed to airborne contaminants and insufficient oxygen environments that can lead to serious health issues, including lung impairment, cancer, and other diseases, or even death. Respiratory protection helps mitigate these risks.
  2. Legal Requirement: The Respiratory Protection Standard is a federal law. Non-compliance can result in legal penalties, including hefty fines and potential business closure. In severe cases, criminal charges can also be filed against the company and its managers. Respiratory protection is consistently one of OSHA's top 3 cited violations nationwide. 
  3. Prevent Financial Loss: The cost of non-compliance can be far-reaching. It includes not only potential OSHA fines but also increased workers' compensation claims, medical fees, lost productivity, and potential lawsuits. Investing in respiratory protection can prevent these unnecessary costs.
  4. Reputation Management: Compliance helps maintain a company's reputation as a safe and responsible employer. It demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being, which can assist in attracting and retaining skilled workers and maintaining a positive public image.
  5. Business Continuity: A healthy workforce is essential for productivity and business continuity. Protecting employees from respiratory hazards can help reduce sick days and ensure operations can continue smoothly.
Remember, the specific requirements of the standard include developing a written respiratory protection program, performing hazard assessments of the workplace, providing appropriate respirators, and training and fit testing employees. Compliance with these steps helps ensure that respirators provide the maximum protection possible and that they are used correctly by employees.

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