Respiratory Protection Policy

Purpose and Application

This policy document is written to ensure that employees and students who are required to wear respiratory protection due to the nature of their work on the campus are provided appropriate equipment and training.

This policy document applies to all employees and students who may need to wear respiratory protection, due to the nature of their work on Campus. It is our resolve that the use of respirators be limited to non-routine operations such emergency rescues or one-time job applications. All routine jobs must apply engineering practice to control hazards, unless determined that the best available control technology fails to provide adequate protection.

Definition and Scope

“Respiratory protection” shall be defined as any device that is worn by the user to reduce or eliminate exposure to harmful contaminants through the inhalation of those contaminants. These devices shall include, but not be limited to: dust masks, dual and single cartridge half-mask and full-face respirators, gas masks, powered air-purifying respirators, supplied-air respirators, and self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA).

Roles and Responsibilities

The Environmental Health & Safety office (EHS) and participating department will jointly evaluate and recommend the type of respiratory protection required for the task to be performed. They will arrange to provide periodic fit tests and training in the use, maintenance and limitations of the respirators as required by federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards.

Each department or contractor is responsible for purchasing and maintaining respirators in accordance with the recommendation, and ensure their proper use as required by OSHA.


Selection of Respirators
EHS, in conjunction with the employing department will, upon notice, determine the need for respiratory protection, by reviewing the tasks to be performed, the contaminant(s) used or generated, and the level of engineering or administrative controls currently being used or proposed.

Medical Clearance for Respirator Use
Any and all employees and students, who wear respiratory protection, required or voluntarily, must complete a respiratory questionnaire to be evaluated by a qualified health care provider annually.  OSB employees can complete this evaluation at the health care center.  CSB employees may complete it at any Occupational Health Center of their choice. Only persons who receive written approval of the Occupational Health Care provider will be allowed to wear respirators.

Training and Fit Testing
EHS and employing department will arrange for training on the use, maintenance, and limitations of respirators to all employees required to wear respiratory protection while performing work on Campus. Fit testing will be conducted prior to the start of employment, and at least annually, following the training and the medical clearance, in accordance with OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard, Final Rule 29 CFR 1910.134.

Record Keeping
EHS shall maintain fit testing and training records for each employee for a minimum of thirty (30) years beyond the last date of employment. The Occupational Health Center shall maintain employee medical clearance records for the same period of time. Each department may maintain records of their employees.

Key References and Resources

The documents listed below may be obtained from the Environmental Health and Safety.