UH employees seeking respiratory protection for any reason should inform their supervisor. After verifying the potential respiratory hazards the supervisor should contact EHLS (713) 743-5858 during University business hours and request assistance.
EHLS will assess the need and reach a consensus with the respirator wearer on the specific type of respirator (dust mask, cartridge or other) to be worn. Then the wearer will be evaluated to determine if he/she is medically qualified to wear a respirator. The first step of this process is complete the OSHA Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire. The completed questionnaire is then reviewed by a licensed physician or Licensed Health Care Professional (LHCP). Currently the medical evaluation must be done by an outside vendor.
Depending upon the review outcome the wearer may be cleared by the physician or LHCP to wear the desired respirator. However, further evaluation such as a pulmonary function test or physical exam may be requested by the reviewing physician or LHCP. Any costs associated for the services of the reviewing physician will be paid by the wearer’s department. The OSHA respiratory protection rules require the employer to supply employee’s respirators, medical evaluations and fit testing at no charge to the employee.
Once the wearer has medically qualified to wear his/her desired respirator, the employee will receive general respirator use training and then a fit–test using the employee’s assigned respirator. Please note that EHLS has limited ability to perform quantitative fit tests on different brands of air purifying respirators so departments may opt to have a fit test performed at the same time as employee’s medical evaluation. Consult with EHLS for further details.
Please note the medical evaluation and approval to wear a respirator is an annual requirement for as long as the employee needs to wear a respirator.