Safety Consultant
Raghuvaran Chakkaravarthy
Environmental, Health And Safety
Kesava Pillai
Occupational Safety & Health
Hr Executive

Dear Raghu
Let me try to give my views...
What I understand from your posting is that you want to send workers to work in confined space... For that your client safety advice to use respirator... You not wish the workers using the repsirator while performing the job... You also states that all the gas is within the permissible limit...
Now your question is that if an employee is medically fit he needs to use respiator or not?
My answer is Yes?
1. Whats the lose in taking extra precautions?
2. Also somebody suggest (Your client safety, surely with more expertise in the field) you that you must go for it and if your fulfill the requirement and anything goes wrong you will be in trouble.
3. Whats the gaurentee that the normal situations will not change? IDLH situation can arise at any time in confined space. So we have to be more cautious when comes to Confined Space.
Dipil Kumar V
Good morning to all,
Next week we have to work in confined space (live lift station 15 feet height masonry work less than 20 minutes only).I have to check myself today in that lift station oxygen/co/h2s everything its in level. But our client safety advice me to use respirator.
My Question :
Medical evaluation (certificate) of employee required to use respirator or not?
Please advice me. . .

Thanks & Besafe
Dear Dilip, Thanks for ur valuable advice. . . My question is Medical certificate of employee (who use the respirator) required to use respirator or not? Thanks & Besafe Raghu
Dear Raghuji
I think it is required as to give evidence that employee is fit for doing said work .
Generally it is required in height work ( where person suffering with vertigo will not be allowed to do height work. )
I think senior safety persons will give you reason behind requirement of medical certificate before working in confined space or ask reason to person who is demanding for this certificate.
Dear Safety Professional,
As per EM- 385 employee medical certificate required to use respirators.
What the OSHA 1926 says??? if anybudy knows this answer please share with us. . .I will try but still not yet get answer. . . Please help me. . .
I hope ur reply earliset. . .
Thanks & Besafe
Dear Friend,

I see your plight. USACE deals with safety issues religiously. They consider human lives as so precious.

You have two issues:

1. Confined space entry - a lift station. Your client safety asked you to ensure that your people use respirator.

2. Whether medical evaluation is required for using respirator or not?

USACE, EM 385 1.1. - 06.I.01 provides you all the information on confined space entry.

In a lift station; for entry if you can very well ensure that the atmosphere is maintained healthy, respirators are not required. Use forced ventilation if necessary and avoid use of respirator as far as possible. Remember PPE is not the first line of defense. You may inform your USACE safety representative that you are personally monitoring the atmosphere. However for emergency use you must ensure respirators are readily available at entry point of your confined space. .

Exemption from Medical examination (E 385.1.1.) 05.E.08

A medical evaluation is not required for employees whose only respirator use would be the use of a NIOSH certified Emergency Life Support Apparatus (ELSA) escape only respirator that provides less than 30 minutes of breathing air and is used to escape from a building/structure in the event of an emergency.

For regular use of respirator medical evaluation is required as per OSHA and USACE 385.1.1. is just copy of OSHA requirements?

OSHA 1910.134(e)

Medical evaluation. Using a respirator may place a physiological burden on employees that varies with the type of respirator worn, the job and workplace conditions in which the respirator is used, and the medical status of the employee. Accordingly, this paragraph specifies the minimum requirements for medical evaluation that employers must implement to determine the employee's ability to use a respirator.


General. The employer shall provide a medical evaluation to determine the employee's ability to use a respirator, before the employee is fit tested or required to use the respirator in the workplace. The employer may discontinue an employee's medical evaluations when the employee is no longer required to use a respirator


Kesava Pillai
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