Respiratory Protection Program
OMAO Procedure 1701-07, Marine Operations Respiratory Protection Program, defines measures that must be taken to protect employees from respiratory hazards that could be encountered while working aboard a ship. The role of the Marine Medicine Branch (MMB) in the respiratory protection program is to determine if employees are medically qualified to wear a respirator. Obtaining medical clearance to wear a respirator is a multi-step process that requires action from the employee's supervisor, the employee, and MMB. The supervisor that has directed an employee to perform a job that requires respirator use must complete NOAA Form 57-17-01, Respirator Medical Evaluation Employer Provided Information, and provide the employee and MMB the completed form. The employee must provide the MMB a NOAA Form 57-07-02, Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire, with Part A completed. Assessment of an employee's respiratory status is part of all employment physical exams performed by the MMB. MMB will review the employee's most recent physical exam and the completed NOAA Form 57-17-01 and NOAA Form 57-17-02, then complete Part B of the NOAA Form 57-17-02. The MMB retains the completed NOAA Form 57-17-02 in the employee's official medical record and sends a copy to the ship's medical officer or Medical Person In Charge. Respirator medical clearance can be granted for 1, 2, or 3 years per MMB discretion based upon the stability of an employee's respiratory fitness. The expiration date of the NOAA Form 57-17-02 is documented in the Medical Readiness Tracking Tool. Employees and supervisors will receive email notification approximately 60 days before the NOAA Form 57-17-02 expires and should take the aforementioned actions to update a respirator medical clearance.