Any employee who is exposed to at least 0.1 fibers/cubic centimeter (f/cc) of asbestos (8 hour time weighted average) must be involved in a medical surveillance program. Any employee who may be exposed to asbestos fiber levels of 0.2 f/cc or higher (8 hour time weighted average) must also be included in a respiratory protection program. Although fiber levels may not be high enough to require a respiratory protection program, established such a program is recommended.
The purpose of the medical surveillance program is to establish an employee’s fitness to wear a respirator and detect any changes in the gastrointestinal and cardiopulmonary systems resulting from working in asbestos contaminated areas. This is done through initial and periodic examinations. Periodic exams are required at least annually. These medical exams and their contents are specified in the state OSHA manuals section 1910.1001. The respiratory protection requirements are also contained in this section.
The employee’s records must be maintained by the employer for at least thirty (30) years following termination of employment.