Respiratory Protection

Respirators are used to protect workers against oxygen deficiency (below 19.5% by velum) and against hazardous materials which can cause diseases through inhalation. This includes smoke, mist, harmful dust gases, fogs, fumes, and sprays. The primary objective is to implement engineering controls such as general and local ventilation or substitution of hazardous materials for less hazardous materials. Respirators can be used in the workplace if engineering controls are not feasible or a specific task requires the use of a respirator. Workplaces must develop and implement a written respirator program with specific procedure requirements. The employer is responsible for providing respirators to employees. Employees must be trained and educated on the use of respirators in accordance with their job procedure.

  1. Respirator Selection Must Include:
  • Medical evaluation of employee.
  • Fit test.
  • Respirators must comply with all OSHA requirements.


  1. Respiratory Protection Program:
  • Where and what type of respirators are required:
  • Written program.
  • Task procedure.
  • Required elements:
  • Fit test.
  • Selection procedure.
  • Care and maintenance.
  • Procedure for emergency use.
  • Whenever OSHA standard or employer require use of respirator, a protection program must be in place.
  • Respirator Procedures:
    • Always read the instructions.
    • If working around debris or airborne particles wear a full mask respirator.
    • Change filters on half mask respirators frequently.
    • Always replace disposable respirators with every use.
    • Facial hair can limit the effectiveness of respirators.
    • Whenever possible, help to reduce the concentration of airborne hazards.
    • Do not use respirators unless fully trained to do so.