Respiratory Protection Programs
Is your dental practice utilizing N-95, KN-95, or their equivalent respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic? We’ve found that quite a few practice owners don’t yet realize that using N-95-type respirators requires them to maintain an OSHA Written Respiratory Protection Program.
We’ve been providing these mandatory OSHA programs to our industrial clients for years. By leveraging our knowledge in this area, we’ve created the most easy-to-use, dental and medical-specific version of this mandatory OSHA Written Respiratory Program. This plan is very simple to administer and utilize. It will only take you 15-20 minutes to set up your office's Respiratory Protection Program using Smart Training's LMS.
This feature is only available to Dental Platinum+ clients, Dental Essentials clients, and Complete Medical Compliance clients.
To Start: Select an Administrator
Determine who is going to be the administrator of the respiratory program. Some practices have the office manager run the program. Others choose the OSHA Lead or the practice owner. It’s up to you.
You just need to make sure you choose someone responsible as, to reiterate, this is a mandatory OSHA Written Program – that means penalties can be hefty if you ignore your obligations.
Once you’ve delegated this responsibility, your new program administrator can use the checklist below to walk them through the whole process.
The Administrator Checklist
Please complete these items in order.
1. Complete the “Respiratory Program – Admin” training module.
Log in to your Smart Training account. Edit your user account to assign the “Respiratory Admin” Job Description to yourself. This will assign the “Respiratory Program – Admin” training module to you to complete. If you do not have the system permission to complete this function, have a system administrator change your user account profile from “user” to “admin.” This will give you the ability to assign job descriptions to yourself and all other users.
2. Who is using respirators in your office?
Identify all of the users in your office that will be wearing respirators, whether “voluntary” or “required,” when completing the survey for the respiratory written program. “Required” users are those that work within 6 feet of any dental procedures capable of producing aerosols.
3. Assign respirator training to employees.
Assign the “Respirator User” Job Description to each of those identified users in the Smart Training LMS, in addition to their other presently assigned Job Descriptions. Assigning this job description to these users will assign the 2 required Respiratory training modules to them to complete.
4. Complete Admin training module.
Complete the “Respiratory Program – Admin” training module, including the survey that will create your written respiratory program. After taking this training module, you will know the duties of the Program Administrator and OSHA requirements for respiratory protection programs. You will also know how to conduct fit tests and seal checks.
5. Did respirator users complete their training modules?
Ensure all personnel who are going to wear respirators, whether voluntarily or required, complete the 2 respiratory training modules: “Respiratory Program Training” and “Respiratory Program Appendix D.” After completing these modules, employees will understand OSHA respirator requirements and know how to care for, don, and doff their respirators. They also will know how to conduct seal checks and what is prohibited when wearing a respirator.
6. Did respirator users complete the medical evaluation questionnaire?
Ensure all personnel who are going to wear respirators, whether voluntarily or required, complete the Medical Evaluation Questionnaire.
7. Complete the medical evaluations.
Ensure Practice Owner or designated Healthcare Professional reviews, and either approves or refers for further review, all medical evaluations.
8. Complete fit tests.
Conduct fit tests. Or coordinate having another competent entity, such as an Occupational Health Clinic, conduct fit tests. Fit tests are only for the users who are required to wear respirators. Voluntary respirator users do not require a fit test.
9. Update written program.
Once all medical evaluations and fit tests are completed, go back into the “Respiratory Program – Admin” training module and update your written program.
Remember, we’re always just a phone call away if you need help.