Environmental Health & Safety Manual (EHS)

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Effective: 7/3/1994

Revised: 10/1/2003

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EHS 107: Respiratory Protection

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To protect employees by reducing or eliminating occupational exposures to hazardous airborne contaminants

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29 Code of Federal Regulations § 1910.134
Arizona State University Respiratory Protection Plan

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Employees who anticipate having exposures to hazardous airborne contaminants above permissible exposure limits during the performance of their duties

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ASU shall provide respiratory protection to employees, when needed, to prevent occupational exposure to hazardous airborne contaminant levels that exceed or may exceed permissible exposure limits established by the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration. Administrative and/or engineering control measures (such as job rotation, substitution of toxic substances with less toxic substances, enclosure or confinement of the operation, and/or general and local ventilation) must be considered and implemented, when feasible, prior to using respiratory protection. If administrative and/or engineering controls are not feasible, the appropriate respiratory protection must be used.

Employees whose job functions require the use of respiratory protection must receive a medical examination, training, and fit testing before using a respirator.

Medical Examination

Employees must receive an initial medical examination and authorization by a qualified occupational physician before using a respirator.


Before using respirators, employees must receive training in the proper use and maintenance of respiratory protective equipment, which includes the following:

  1. review of the Respiratory Protection standard and the Arizona State University Respiratory Protection Plan, a guidance document on the Environmental Health & Safety Web site
  2. written verification of medical examination and fit testing
  3. when and where use of the respirator is necessary
  4. how to properly put on, take off, adjust, and wear the respirator
  5. how to care for and evaluate the condition of the respirator
  6. how to clean, disinfect, and store the respirator after each usage


  7. limitations and useful life of the respirator and its associated parts.

Fit Testing

Employees must receive fit testing to ensure that the respiratory protective equipment fits properly and will provide the level of protection necessary for their specific area. Fit testing must be performed annually by a qualified individual.

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For detailed information on the respiratory protection standard, to request a work area evaluation, or to schedule training and/or fit testing, contact Environmental Health & Safety at 480/965–1823.


The department’s responsibilities are to:

  1. determine whether administrative and/or engineering controls can be used instead of respiratory protective equipment, and implement these controls when feasible
  2. establish and maintain written standard operating procedures and ensure that only properly trained and medically certified employees use respiratory protective equipment


  3. document and maintain all records pertaining to employee medical examinations, training, and fit testing within the department.

Environmental Health & Safety’s responsibilities are to:

  1. develop and implement a written respiratory protection program
  2. provide guidance on written standard operating procedures, assist departments with evaluating respiratory hazards, and provide guidance on suitable control measures, including appropriate protective equipment
  3. provide training, fit testing, and retraining for employees as requested by individual departments
  4. document and maintain employee training and fit test records


  5. reassess work areas as necessary.

The employee’s responsibilities are to:

  1. wear appropriate respiratory protection while performing job functions that require its use
  2. properly care for and maintain the respirator and inspect it for damage prior to use


  3. report changes in workplace or respirator conditions to supervisor.

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For further information, see:

  1. EHS 103, “Hazard Communication Program”
  2. EHS 104, “Laboratory Use of Hazardous Chemicals”
  3. EHS 105, “Personal Protective Equipment”


  4. EHS 108, “Environmental Health and Safety Training.”

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