Federal regulations require employees to use respirators in areas of the workplace where they are exposed to hazardous airborne contaminants.
When respiratory protection is required, employers must have a respirator protection program that meets OSHA standards.
Before wearing a respirator, employees must be medically evaluated with a mandatory medical questionnaire or an equivalent method, OSHA says.
OSHA's medical evaluation and questionnaire requirements are contained in an information sheet the agencies provides.
The questionnaire requires the employer to:
- Identify a physician or other licensed healthcare professional to perform all medical evaluations using a medical questionnaire that meets OSHA standards
- Obtain information requested in the questionnaire
- Ensure that a follow-up medical examination is provided for any employee who gives a positive response to certain questions, or whose initial medical examination demonstrates the need for a follow-up exam
- Provide the employee with an opportunity to discuss the questionnaire and exam results with the healthcare professional
The medical questionnaire and examinations must be administered confidentially during the employee's normal working hours or at a time and place convenient to the employee and in a manner that ensures they understands its content.
The employer must not review the employee's responses, and the questionnaire must be provided directly to the healthcare provider.