Voluntary Use Provisions
Voluntary use of respiratory protection
Where there is no regulatory requirement for use of respiratory protection, UC ANR employees may choose to use N95 filtering face masks (N95 mask) under voluntary use provisions. Only N95 filtering face masks are allowable for voluntary use and any voluntary use of respirators is subject to review and approval by the respiratory protection program administrator.
Before an employee is allowed to use a N95 mask under voluntary provisions, the respiratory program administrator or other designated party (local safety coordinator or site superintendent) must verify that there is no regulatory requirement for respiratory protection and that the employee’s use of the respirator does not pose a danger to health and safety. If voluntary use is determined to be safe and allowable, employee’s name and use of N95 mask is added to a roster of employees who are using respiratory protection under voluntary use provisions. Voluntary use rosters are reviewed periodically for accuracy and to verify training records.
Employees who wish to use N95 masks under voluntary use provisions must:
- Complete and document annual training for use of the N95 mask - available resources are linked below:
- Employees should complete online Voluntary N95 Respirator Training.
- A one-page guidance document is also available and provides useful guidance for volunteers.
- Powerpoint slides from Feb 2019 Safety Coordinator webinar can be downloaded and modified for use in general awareness training.
- Training may also be included in IIPP or other respiratory protection training
- Notify ANR EHS via the Voluntary N95 Respirator Registration survey
- Notify the local safety coordinator or superintendent of their use (specify the model of N95 mask and instances where the mask will be used)
- Receive a copy of the OSHA-mandated voluntary use document ( 8CCR5144 App D (voluntary N95 use) - “Information for Employees Using Respirators When Not Required Under the Standard”)
- Follow additional requirements and provide training materials when respirators are used for protection from wildfire smoke. (see our Protection from Wildfire Smoke website for more info: http://safety.ucanr.edu/Programs/Respiratory_Protection_Program/WildfireSmoke/)
Voluntary use of N95 masks may be revoked at any time based on changes in work tasks, policy, or documented concerns for employee health and safety. Employees who are not authorized by UC ANR for voluntary use are not allowed to use respiratory protection under the voluntary use provision. Fit tests and medical evaluations are not required or provided for employees who use N95 masks under voluntary use provisions. The employer/supervisor is not required to provide N95 masks to the employees under voluntary use provisions, but employers/supervisors must ensure that use of such equipment is registered with the respiratory protection program and does not pose a hazard to employee health and safety.
Questions? Contact Program Administrator