Respiratory Protection

General Guidance

This page provides links to a variety of guidance documents, web pages, and online tools related to respiratory protection. Most have been created by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), but some have been prepared by other federal government agencies, such as the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH). Some of the guidance materials were written primarily for employers and respirator program administrators, while others are geared more for workers.

  • Seven Steps to Correctly Wear a Respirator at Work. OSHA Poster, (May 2020). Describes the steps for properly putting on and taking off a respirator.
  • The Use of Aftermarket Replacement Component Parts for NIOSH-Approved Respirators. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Fact Sheet, (February 2016). Warns workers and employers about the dangers of using replacement component parts or accessories that are not NIOSH-approved for the system.
  • Hospital Respiratory Protection Program Toolkit: Resources for Respirator Program Administrators (EPUB | MOBI). NIOSH/OSHA/CDC Toolkit, (May 2015). Assists hospitals in developing and implementing effective respiratory protection programs, with an emphasis on preventing the transmission of aerosol transmissible diseases (e.g., influenza, TB, SARS, MERS) to healthcare personnel. Appendix D is a template that can be used to customize your facilities program.
  • Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire. OSHA Infosheet (Publication 3790), (May 2015). To facilitate medical evaluations, this resource helps employers conduct medical evaluations for workers who must wear a respirator. Included is the mandatory minimum required medical questionnaire for these evaluations. Once filled out, the forms must be given to the PLHCP and not submitted to OSHA.
  • General Respiratory Protection Guidance for Employers and Workers. OSHA Bulletin, (2011). Provides basic information to employers and workers, who may find themselves using respiratory protection for the first time. Provides information on what respirators are, how they work, and what is needed for a respirator to provide protection.
  • Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respiratory Protection Standard. OSHA Guidebook (Publication 3384), (2011). Provides small entities with a comprehensive step-by-step guide, complete with checklists and commonly asked questions that will aid both workers and employers in small businesses with a better understanding of OSHA’s respiratory protection standard.
  • Respiratory Protection. OSHA eTool. Provides employers with instruction on the proper selection of respiratory protection and the development of change schedules for gas/vapor cartridges.
  • Questions and Answers on the Respiratory Protection Standard. OSHA Memo to Regional Administrators, (August 3, 1998). Provides questions and answers relating to each paragraph of the Respiratory Protection Standard and includes a Spanish translation of the Medical Questionnaire (Appendix C) at the end of the document.
  • Respirators. OSHA QuickCard™ (Publication 3280), (2005). Provides employees with a brief description of the different types of respirators available. Also available in Spanish
  • Assigned Protection Factors for the Revised Respiratory Protection Standard. OSHA Guidebook (Publication 3352), (2009). Provides employers with information for selecting respirators for workers, using Assigned Protection Factors (APFs) and Maximum Use Concentrations (MUCs).
  • Respiratory Infection Control: The Difference Between Respirators and Surgical Masks. OSHA Fact Sheet, (May 2009). Provides employers and workers with information about the differences between respirators and surgical masks.
  • NIOSH Respirator Selection Logic. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2005-100, (October 2004). Provides employers with information on selecting respirators. Replaces the NIOSH Respirator Decision Logic (NIOSH Publication No. 87-108), and includes information on N95 through P100 particulate respirators. An online version, of this decision logic is available as part of the OSHA Respiratory Protection eTool.
  • Respirators. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Workplace Safety and Health Topics. Provides information and links to topics pertaining to respirators.
  • NIOSH Respirator Trusted-Source Information Page. Provides information to understand the types of respirators, how to identify approved models and outlets for purchase, a listing of all NIOSH-approved and FDA-cleared surgical N95 respirators, a listing of recently revoked respirator approvals and relevant User Notices. It also contains information on how to implement the use of respirators in the workplace and use them appropriately, and includes commonly asked questions and answers (fact sheets), respirator myths, the science of respirator function and performance, and respiratory protective devices not approved by NIOSH.