3M Centre for Respiratory Protection
Wearing a respirator can put an extra burden on the body. People with underlying medical conditions may put themselves at risk if they work while wearing one. As per Australian/New Zealand Standard (AS/NZS 1715:2009 section 6.1 Medical Assessment) "Persons who are routinely required to wear respirators should have an initial medial assessment prior to use to determine if they are able to wear respirators."
A positive pressure respirator can be a Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) or a Supplied Air Respirator(SAR). A PAPR relies on a battery and a motor to pull air through the filer into the breathing zone, and a Supplied Air Respirator uses an airline and a valve to deliver breathing quality air to the wearer. Neither of these respirators rely on the wearer’s lungs to pull air through the filtering device so they may be an option if a negative pressure respirator is not.
A: Wearing a respirator can put an extra burden on the body. Employees with certain medical conditions affecting the heart or lungs could risk injury or death if they wear a respirator on the job. The medical evaluation questionnaire helps identify at-risk employees who may need an in-person visit with a physician to determine their ability to safely wear a respirator while working. The questionnaire also helps identify other conditions that may affect workers’ ability to wear a respirator, such as claustrophobia and migraines.