Millions of workers are required to wear respirators in various workplaces throughout the US. 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.
OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard applies to all occupational airborne exposures to contaminated air where the employee is:
- Exposed to a hazardous level of an airborne contaminant; or
- Required by the employer to wear respirators; or
- Permitted to wear respirators.
OSHA’s Respiratory Protection eTool provides instruction on the proper selection of respiratory protection and the development of change schedules for gas/vapor cartridges as well as helps you comply with the OSHA respirator standard. Respirators should be used for protection only when engineering controls have been shown to be infeasible for the control of the hazard or during the interim period when engineering controls are being installed. Learn More