Respiratory Protection

Respiratory protection is a type of personal protective equipment (PPE) that is used when there are no others means of preventing exposure to harmful agents such as dust, fumes, vapors, chemicals, and biological agents.

Respirators come in many shapes and sizes that cover a wide variety of applications and are designed to protect the respiratory system. Given the many choices of respiratory protection available, there are regulatory requirements to ensure training is provided and the employee receives the proper respirator for the job.

Lab Safety Officer
Call (435) 797-2892 for assistance.

The EH&S Office can provide guidance on choosing the right respirator for the intended application and perform training and fit testing for that respirator.

Training Requirements

All employees that will be wearing a respirator as part of their employment at Utah State University must participate in respiratory initial training related to the selection, use, and fit of the respirator. Training can be scheduled by calling (435) 797-2892.

All employees that wear a respirator as part of their employment must participate in annual respiratory protection refresher training and fit testing. Call (435) 797-2892 to schedule an annual refresher training.

Respiratory Protection Written Program

The Respiratory Protection Program has been established to maintain an environment that will not adversely affect the health, safety and well-being of employees, students and visitors. Because of the potential hazards involved from exposure to hazardous substances and atmospheres, the USU EH&S Office will provide guidance on the selection, use, care and maintenance of respiratory protective equipment, and develop safe procedures for their use. All activities involving the use of respiratory protective equipment, including operations, maintenance and research activities in all facilities controlled by the university shall be conducted in compliance with 29CFR1910.134 of the Occupational Safety and Health Respiratory Protection Standard.

Participants in the respiratory protection program must maintain a clean-shaven face to ensure the proper function of the respirator. Facial hair can interfere with the respirator seal which compromises the function of the respirator. A moderate mustache can still work with respirator and not interfere with the seal of the respirator.

Fit Testing

All employees who will be wearing a respirator as part of their employment at Utah State University must be fit-tested for the type, model, and size of the respirator they will be wearing. A fit test ensures that the make and model of respiratory protection properly fits the users face. Employees should be fit-tested annually to ensure proper fit of the respirator they are using.