Can an employee wear a tight-fitting respirator with a beard or other facial hair?
No. The OSHA Respiratory Protection standard states that, when respirators are required, employees who have facial hair that comes between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face or that interferes with valve function cannot wear tight-fitting facepieces.
However, if the employee chooses to wear a respirator voluntarily, the standard does not prohibit them from wearing a beard. Traditionally, good industrial hygiene practice recommends that facial hair that interferes with the face-to-facepiece seal should be avoided.
J. J. Keller is the trusted source for DOT / Transportation, OSHA / Workplace Safety, Human Resources, Construction Safety and Hazmat / Hazardous Materials regulation compliance products and services. J. J. Keller helps you increase safety awareness, reduce risk, follow best practices, improve safety training, and stay current with changing regulations.