A respirator may be required when engineering controls and safe work practices can’t prevent employees overexposure to inhalation hazards. The following actions are required before an employee is permitted to wear a respirator:

  1. The supervisor, principal investigator, or site safety contact will complete and submit a Respiratory Exposure Hazard Questionnaire to EHS. This process will determine if respirators are needed and ensure that other control measures (substitution, exhaust ventilation, etc…) have been addressed as primary protective measures.
  2. If EHS has determined that respirator use is required, the following must be completed:
    1. Respirator Selection –  EHS will assist in the selection of the proper respirator.
    2. Medical Clearance – The employee must receive medical clearance to wear the respirator from NCSU Occupational Medicine at Student Health. The employee will complete the  Exam Request Form and the Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire. The employee will submit both forms  to Occupational Medicine via mail (see form), fax (888- 972-4151), or email to dmgreco2@ncsu.edu.  If there are questions call 919-513-0277.  Your supervisor must approve your exam request.
    3. Training – Employees  are required to take Initial Respirator Training and refresher training every year. Respirator Refresher Training. Links to this training can be found below
      Filtering Facepiece Respiratory Protection Training – EHPS-OH102This respiratory protection training is intended for individuals who only wear filtering facepiece (i.e. N-95, disposable) respirators for work or research at NCSU. Occupational Health and Safety919-515-6862
      Respirator Training - EHPS-OH100This training is intended for individuals who wear respiratory protection for work or research.   This training is a fundamentals level of information. Medical clearance and hands on training with fit testing are also required before wearing respiratory protection equipment.Occupational Health and Safety919-515-6862
      Annual refresher training for Respirator use EHPS-OH101Annual Refresher training for Respirator UseOccupational Health and Safety919-515-6862
    4. Fit Test – Employees using a tight-fitting respirator, must pass a fit test, provided by EHS. You can schedule the fit test as part of the online respirator training or by contacting env-health-occ-health@ncsu.edu, The fit test is an annual requirement and must be obtained for each respirator issued
    5. Site-Specific Respiratory Protection Program.  EHS will assist the supervisor, principal investigator, or site safety contact in completing a written work site-specific respiratory protection program. A work site respiratory protection administrator will also need to be designated, which typically will be one of the aforementioned individuals. The administrator will also ensure the program is implemented and followed.. This program will be developed following NCSU’s Respiratory Protection Program (RPP) .NCSU’s RPP provides the details, guidance, and forms which can be tailored for use as a site-specific written program. The Worksite Specific Respiratory Protection Plan form  contained in the RPP will need to be completed by the program administrator with assistance from EHS.
  1. If EHS has determined that respirator use is not required, but the employee requests to voluntarily use a respirator, the following steps must be completed: Note: OSHA requires that the voluntary use of respirators (i.e., when respirators are not required by NC State), be controlled almost as strictly as if their use were required.
    1. Approval for voluntary use of all types of respirators, including N-95 filtering facepiece respirators will be determined by the user’s management and EHS, based on the submission of the Respiratory Exposure Hazard Questionnaire.  Approved voluntary respirators may be provided at the request of employees, or employees may use their own respirators, if such use will not create a hazard.
    2. Medical clearance is required for respirator use, except for voluntary use of filtering facepiece respirators (dust mask, N-95). For details on the medical clearance process see 2.b. above.
    3. The respirator is to be cleaned, stored, and maintained so that its use does not present a health hazard to the user.
    4. The employee must be provided with the information included in the Mandatory Appendix D, OSHA 1910.134, “Information for Employees Using Respirators When Not Required Under the Standard”.  This information is covered on NCSU’s Voluntary/Comfort Use of Respirators  form which must be reviewed, completed by each employee, and submitted to EHS.

If there are any questions or if assistance is needed contact  env-health-occ-health@ncsu.edu, 919-515-8658 or 515-6862