Washington Respiratory Protection laws & safety compliance analysis

Washington Respiratory Protection: What you need to know

The state has adopted the federal respiratory protection rules for general industry workplaces and has added stricter provisions for:

  • Evaluation of respiratory hazards and employee notification (WAC 296-841-20005 to 296-841-20025)
  • Written respiratory protection program, respirator selection, medical evaluation, fit testing, and training records (WAC 296-842-100 to 296-842-300)
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The Washington Department of Labor and Industries (DLI) administers and enforces workplace safety and health rules in private and public sector workplaces.

WAC 296-841-20020

Employers must provide written notification to employees of an exposure to any of the specific air contaminants under WAC 296-62, Part I (e.g., asbestos, benzene, cadmium, lead, cotton dust). The notification may be provided either individually, to a group, or by posting of results in an appropriate location that is accessible to affected employees.

Time frame for the notification to employees. The notification must be provided within 5 business days after the employee’s exposure result is known to the employer of any exposure above a permissible exposure limit (PEL).

Within 15 business days after the employee’s exposure result in known to the employer, the affected employee(s) must be notified of the corrective action taken to reduce employee exposure to or below the PEL with the schedule for completion of the corrective action and any reasons why exposures can't be lowered to below the PEL.

See the national Permissible Exposure Limits section for more information about the PELs.

WAC 296-842-15005and 296-842-22010

Previous fit test. The employer may accept a fit test completed by a previous ...

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