East Carolina University. Tomorrow starts here.®
 


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The NC Agromedicine Institute is a University of North Carolina Institute.

Member Universities:
East Carolina University
North Carolina State University
NC Agricultural & Technical State University
 
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Farmers visiting after completing respirator fit test at The Institute
Pictured above: Farmers visiting at the Institute after completing their respirator fit test.

Current Announcements:

For information on RMM Phase II & current events click here

Risk Mitigation Measures Project Summary. May 2012

 

About the Risk Mitigation Measures Project

The goal of the Risk Mitigation Measures Project is to assist farms across North Carolina using soil fumigants to comply with Phase 1 risk mitigation measures (RMM) for soil fumigants released by the US Environmental Protection Agency in December 2010. RMM include:

  • Restricted Use Pesticide classification
  • Reentry restrictions
  • Safety information for handlers
  • Mandatory Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)
  • Fumigant Management Plans (FMPs)
  • Handler respiratory protection

To learn more about these RMMS take a look at the following presentations:

Soil Fumigant Regulations 2011

Mandatory Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)

Worker Protection Requirements

North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission Project Profiles

Respirator Documents:

Respirator FAQ's

Respirator Care

Sources for Respirators

Providers for Medical Clearance and Fit Testing

Respirator Questions & Answers:

When should respirator Fit Testing be completed?

Fit testing must be conducted prior to initial use of respirator, whenever a different respirator face piece (size, style, model or make) is used, and at least annually thereafter.

When should medical clearance be completed and by whom?

A medical evaluation to determine the employee's ability to use the respirator is required and must be conducted by a physician or other licensed health care professional (PLHCP) before fit testing or using the respirator. This evaluation can be done in two ways, either by using the medical questionnaire *or by performing an initial medical exam that will obtain the same information. Depending on the results of the medical evaluation or the initial medical exam, a follow-up medical exam may be required.

The medical exam does not have to be repeated annually but must be repeated if only in the following situations:

  • When an employee reports signs or symptoms that are related to the ability to use a respirator.
  • If a physician or other licensed health care professional, supervisor, respirator program administrator or person conducting a fit test indicates an employee needs to be re-evaluated 
  • When a change in workplace conditions (such as temperature, physical work effort or the use of protective clothing) may result in a substantial increase in the physiological burden placed on an employee.

However most companies conducting medical clearance and fit testing require that THE MEDICAL EVALUATION BE CONDUCTED ANNUALLY, INCLUDING THE PULMONARY FUNCTION TEST AND BLOOD PRESSURE MONITORING as a part of their fit testing program. One can see that the rationale behind this as these companies do not know the full medical history of the growers and are only seeing the responses to the medical evaluation questionnaire. They are more comfortable with the demonstrated results of these two tests and there is nothing in regulation to prevent them from being more stringent by performing the medical evaluation including the pulmonary function and blood pressure testing.

Individuals may receive a longer period of medical clearance from their personal physician since they would know their complete medical background.

 Individuals should have physician or licensed health care professional provide evidence of medical evaluation to maintain with fumigant management plan documentation. Physician or health care provider may sign off on questionnaire or provide a statement that individual is medically cleared to use a respirator on letterhead or a prescription pad.

 

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TTFC Sponsored Project