Respirator Medical Evaluations | What Medical Professionals Need to Know!

Any employee who is required to wear a respirator according to the information on the pesticide product label must undergo a medical examination by the MEQ Physicians or licensed medical professional before using the respirator. Such an evaluation must take into account the health of the employee, his specific responsibilities, the type of respirator, and the conditions in the workplace.

Medical Evaluation Needed Before Employees Use a Respirator at Work

Breathing through a respirator is more difficult than the surrounding air. The additional physiological burden can be significant for people with certain diseases. As an examiner, your goal is to determine any health conditions that may endanger the employee wearing a respirator and whether the employee can wear a medical respirator.

Healthcare Provider Evaluate

Having information from both the employee and the employer allows the inspector to determine medical clearance for respirator use under certain conditions. The assessment can be done by reviewing the employee's responses to the medical questionnaire or by collecting the same information. View the full survey in English and Spanish. The information obtained from the medical examination is confidential. You can only see this as an employee and you as an inspector.

Employer-Provided Answers Come Into Play

The employer must provide information on how to use the respirator at work. For example, type and weight of respirators and filters, duration and frequency of respirator use, personal protective equipment used during use, workplace exposure, voltage levels expected during operation, and operating conditions. The employer must also provide you with an OSHA respiratory protection standard.

Potential Outcomes of the Medical Evaluation

Additional testing and/or subsequent evaluations may be required to determine final approval. The need for reevaluation or the time between evaluations depends on several factors, such as whether the employee reports shortness of breath or dizziness associated with the use of breathing apparatus or changes in working conditions.

Limitations

It can impose restrictions on medical clearance, for example, an employee must monitor his health condition when wearing a respirator. If the employee is in poor health, a medical examination may be refused, prohibiting the safe use of a respirator under the conditions described. Medical clearance may be granted for a longer period, but must be repeated if there are changes in the employee's health, facial structure, respirator, or the employee's work or workplace conditions.


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