New CDPR Respirator Rules effective 1/1/2008
It was 1999 that Cal-OSHA changed their respirator rules significantly from the standard we had been following for some many years. With that change, we entered a period when Cal-OSHA and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) had fairly significantly different standards for employee use of respirators.
Since 2000, the PCOC and the PCOC Insurance Program has been telling you that CDPR would one day be updating their regulations to more closely approximate the Cal-OSHA rules. The past 18 months we have been informing you of the process CDPR has been going through in specifically updating their respirator regulations.
On the PCOC Insurance Website you may find copies of the new regulations, which go into effect on January 1, 2008, as well as copy of the CDPR document "Generic Guidelines for Developing Respiratory Protection Program in Accordance with Department of Pesticide Regulation Requirements".
One of the most significant changes is the requirement of having a physician or other licensed health care provider review employee's medical evaluation questionnaires as described in the next paragraph.
"Each employee of who may be required to routinely wear respiratory protective equipment will be required to either complete a Medical Evaluation Questionnaire, found in Appendix 2 of the WRITTEN PROGRAM (also found in 3 CCR Section 6739(q)) or undergo a medical examination by a physician or other licensed health care professional (PLHCP). The medical examination will obtain the same information as the Medical Evaluation Questionnaire. The questionnaire will be completed confidentially by the employee and mailed to the PLHCP. Management may not read the completed questionnaire or assist the employee in filling out the questionnaire. If the employee cannot read the questionnaire, the employee may ask a family member or non-management coworker for assistance, or the RPA may contract an independent translator for the worker."
The new regulations also include the requirement for a "program administrator" to administer the respiratory protection program and conduct the required evaluations of program effectiveness, requirements for revised fit testing and face-piece seal checks, requirements for detailed precautions to be taken including the number of people necessary, means of communication, specific rescue training, notification of the employer, respiratory equipment, and means to retrieve the employee(s) that enters an immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH) atmosphere, and language that addresses the voluntary use of respirators.
CDPR Respiratory Protection Regulations ( pdf) (Filed with the Secretary of State 6/13/07; Effective 1/1/08) This regulatory action pertains to respiratory protection worn by employees working with pesticide materials. - Will open in a new window.
CDPR Generic Guidelines for Development of a Respiratory Protection Program in Accordance with Department of Pesticide Regulation Requirements(MS Word 120 kb) HS-1513 Revision No. 3 July 9, 2007 - Will open in a new window.
Cal-OSHA or CDPR Respirator Rules (From 2002) ( pdf) - Will open in a new window.
Cal-OSHA ( pdf) - Will open in a new window.
Cal-OSHA New New Respirator Regulation (Fact Sheet) ( pdf) - Will open in a new window.