The Madelia Community Hospital & Clinic (MCHC) will be holding two respirator evaluation and fit testing clinics to help local farmers prepare for the upcoming crop season. Proper respirator use is essential if you apply certain chemicals to your crops, and respirators should be fit tested annually. The respirator clinics will be on Tuesday, April 23rd from 1 to 3 p.m. and on Thursday, April 25th from 8 to 11 a.m. No appointment is needed, just check in at the Hospital Admissions Desk.
“During the busy spring season, we encourage our local farmers to come in to be fit tested. It should only take a few minutes, and could save them from the long-term health effects of chemical use,” said Megan Gossman, RN and Infection Prevention/Employee Health Manager.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires documentation of medical clearance prior to respirator use for any individual using a pesticide labeled for respiratory protection. Respirator use can impose both physical and psychological stress on the body, especially the pulmonary and cardiovascular systems. The medical clearance is used to determine if there are medical conditions that would either be aggravated by a respirator or prevent the safe and effective use of a respirator.
All farmers must fill out an OSHA Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire prior to fit testing. A link to this questionnaire is available on our website at www.mchopsital.org. Farmers may also require a medical evaluation prior to fit testing, based on their answers on the OSHA questionnaire. If a medical evaluation is needed, appointments can be made at MCHC by calling 507.642.5200.