A respirator is a personal protective device used to protect the wearer from inhalation of harmful levels of airborne contaminants. The use of respirators is acceptable only when engineering or work practice controls (e.g., local exhaust ventilation) are inadequate or not feasible, or while these controls are being designed or constructed. Respirators must be carefully selected, properly fitted, regularly inspected and cleaned, and repaired when broken. Wearers must be medically evaluated for respirator use and trained in the appropriate use, care, maintenance and limitations of respiratory protective devices. Work area environments must be periodically evaluated to determine the appropriate level of respiratory protection necessary.

Applicable Regulations

29 CFR 1910.134 - OSHA Respiratory Protection

NOTE: More specific respiratory protection requirements may be contained within substance-specific or operation-specific regulations (e.g., asbestos or lead standards)

Summary of Requirements


Training shall be provided to all users of respiratory protective equipment to include:


Written records shall be maintained for training, fit-testing, medical examinations and work area surveillance (monitoring) for at least 30 years following termination of employment for any individual wearing a respirator.

Written Program

A written program describing the selection and proper use of respirators shall be available in the facility.

Revised 3/01