Historically, law enforcement in Illinois has not had to routinely deal with the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) or Federal OSHA with regard to respirator regulations. However, in the post 9/11 world, things have changed. ILEAS has been at the forefront of the labor issue since distributing 24,000 AVON respirators in 2004 and with the stockpiling of over 100,000 N95 masks for biological emergencies. There has been a multitude of opinions, rumors and misinterpretations regarding labor rules for law enforcement. ILEAS worked with IDOL to cut through the misinformation to provide uniform guidance to Illinois law enforcement. ILEAS worked to develop a consistent set of guidelines to assist every chief law enforcement manager in making policy, planning, and budgeting decisions with regard to employee respirator use. The result was the development and publishing of the Respirator Labor Regulations Matrix.
Labor Regulation Guideline Matrix
ILEAS and the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) Enforcement Division have developed a matrix of Illinois Law Enforcement Respirator Regulations. The matrix is a valuable set of guidelines to support your policy and budgetary decision-making. All you have to do is to read down the first column and choose a policy decision with regard to AVON or N95 mask use. Once you find the situation that best fits your issues, then move along that line to the right to see the requirements with regard to Standard Medical Form, Annual Training, Annual Fit Testing, Policy, Records, Selection of Respirator and Physical Exam. Each cell in the matrix identifies the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard and other references.
ILEAS received a formal letter from IDOL dated March 17, 2014 notifying us of updates and modifications that they wanted made to the Matrix. ILEAS worked with the Enforcement Division to produce a new version. IDOL has requested that ILEAS assist them in distributing the regulations throughout our member agencies. Click here for the March 17th letter from IDOL which supersedes all previous IDOL directives to ILEAS that you may have seen or copied. Click here for what is now the most recent version of the Respirator Matrix dated in April 2014.
ILEAS has notified the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois Sheriffs' Association of these changes as well. IDOL is actively inspecting law enforcement agencies and is enforcing respirator regulations. ILEAS has no official authority to represent management or labor for any agency - our role is simply to inform our members of the issues and provide resources. If you have specific questions about respirator, please reach out to the Safety and Education Division of the IL. Department of Labor. ILEAS is updating its model respirator policy that any agency can use as a basis for developing its own policy. We will have it reviewed by IDOL and will post it here when it is complete.
If any agency that received respirators from ILEAS decides now, based on review of the regulations, that it no longer wants the masks, it should follow its own surplus/disposition of property procedures. ILEAS requests that if you do dispose or transfer them, that you please click this link and send an email to Kent Jepsen, the ILEAS Inventory Coordinator so that we can keep the records accurate. ILEAS does not want the masks returned to us. If you have masks that are in their original sealed shipping boxes, please notify Kent prior to disposal.