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Respiratory Protection Program

Respirators are used to protect people from inhaling hazardous materials in the air when ventilation or other control methods are not available. These materials can be found in the form of gases, vapors, mists, dusts, or fumes. Required procedures for the need and use of respiratory protection are outlined below.


The University has detailed respiratory protection standards to protect employees and students from airborne hazards. All respirators used by employees and students must be coordinated through EHSS with our Health and Safety Programs Coordinator


Your supervisor may recommend your participation in the program, or your job duties will require you to be enrolled. Please contact EHSS for assistance with scheduling an exposure assessment to ensure the need for respiratory protection.


Flow chart showing mandatory vs voluntary options

There are four steps to complete prior to being able to become and approved respirator user.

  1. Complete the Hazard Assessment form (Appendix B)
    • This will be completed with assistance from your supervisor and EHSS 
  2. Training
  3. Medical Clearance
    • Includes an OSHA questionnaire
  4. Fit testing
    • EHSS provides two methods of testing to ensure proper fit

All four of these steps will need to completed every year.

A CDC guideline for types of respirators. There are 7 different styles and categories of respirator types

A clean shaven face is required by OSHA for individuals wearing (or being fitted for) a tight fitting respirator. This includes and N-95 and any other filtering facepiece respirator. The purpose of the requirement is to protect the individual wearing the respirator.

NIOSH and the CDC have worked together to compile the infographic below illustrating which facial hairsytle will not work with a respirator. EHSS utilizes this guidance when performing respirator fit tests. This CDC Facial Hair Guide is available for printing and sharing.

Multiple rows of men showing off compliant and non-compliant facial hair that work with respirators. Accepted facial hairstyles are: clean shaven, soul patches, short sideburns, and most mustaches.

N 95 Reqeust Form

Follow this link to get specific details about our N-95 specific program. If you have any further questions contact the Health and Safety Programs Coordinator