Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Respiratory Protection

Respiratory Protection - Photo Credit: DSG | Copyright: Public Domain
Respiratory Protection Menu Workers' Rights


OSHA's COVID-19 Safety and Health Topics page provides specific information about protecting workers from coronavirus during the ongoing pandemic.



Millions of workers are required to wear respirators in various workplaces throughout the United States. Respirators protect workers against insufficient oxygen environments, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors, and sprays. These hazards may cause cancer, lung impairment, diseases, or death. Compliance with the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard could avert hundreds of deaths and thousands of illnesses annually.

Respirators protect the user in two basic ways. The first is by the removal of contaminants from the air. Respirators of this type include particulate respirators, which filter out airborne particles, and air-purifying respirators with cartridges/canisters which filter out chemicals and gases. Other respirators protect by supplying clean respirable air from another source. Respirators that fall into this category include airline respirators, which use compressed air from a remote source, and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), which include their own air supply.

General Guidance

Provides links to a variety of guidance documents, web pages, and online tools related to respiratory protection.


Respiratory Protection Training Videos

Links to a variety of training videos related to respiratory protection.



Respiratory protection is addressed in specific OSHA standards for general industry, shipyard employment, marine terminals, longshoring and construction.



Highlights the most commonly used OSHA directives (instructions to OSHA staff) and letters of interpretation (official letters of interpretation of the standards) related to respiratory protection.


Additional Resources

Provides links to a variety of resources, such as documents, web pages, and online tools, related to respiratory protection.


Spanish Resources

Provides links and references to additional resources related to respiratory protection in Spanish.



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