Respiratory Protection

Respirator flowchartRespiratory protection is put in place in order to protect faculty, staff, and students from harmful air contaminants and other factors that can lead to illnesses or disabilities.

Harmful air contaminants can include: dusts, fibers, smoke, sprays, aerosols, gases, fumes, and/or vapors.

The roles and responsibilities of Enterprise Risk Management include conducting an exposure assessment to determine if protection is necessary. If it is, appropriate devices will be assigned and training, medical evaluations and fit testing will be provided.


Training is required for all employees that use tight fit respirators before initial use and annually thereafter. Please contact the ERM Office for Respirator Training.

Medical Evaluation

  • Faculty, staff, and students must participate in a medical evaluation to determine ability to use a respirator, before fit testing and use.
  • Medical evaluations will be performed by a physician or other licensed health care professional (PLHCP) using a medical questionnaire or an initial medical examination that obtains the same information as the medical questionnaire
  • Contact the ERM Office to coordinate medical evaluations.

Fit Testing

  • All employees using a negative or positive pressure tight-fitting facepiece respirator must pass an appropriate fit test. Fit testing is required prior to initial use, whenever a different respirator facepiece is used, and at least annually thereafter.
  • Contact the ERM Office to conduct fit testing.

Use, Maintenance, and Care of Respirators

  • Tight-fitting respirators shall not be worn by employees who have facial hair or any condition that interferes with the face-to-facepiece seal or valve function.
  • Personal protective equipment shall be worn in such a manner that does not interfere with the seal of the facepiece to the face of the user.
  • Users shall perform a seal check each time they put on a tight-fitting respirator.
  • Respirators must be properly sanitized:
    • as often as necessary to maintain a sanitary condition
    • before being worn by different individuals when issued to more than one employee
    • after each use for emergency use respirators and those used in fit testing and training

ERM will conduct annual monitoring of all respirator users. It is up to supervisors to consult with ERM in order to determine the need for respiratory protection. They must also ensure employees properly use assigned respiratory protection, receive fit testing, medical clearance, and attend training. Faculty and Staff must make sure they wear their assigned respirators as directed. They must receive medical monitoring, fit testing, and training as frequently as directed by ERM.

For more information and training on SUU’s Respiratory Protection Program see the Written Safety Programs page.