Respiratory Protection

Review the Respiratory Protection Program and complete the Request for Respirator Use if you think you may need a respirator.


The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (University), through the Safety and Compliance division, Occupational Safety and Health department (OSH), has established this Respiratory Protection Program to protect the health of university students, faculty and staff and to assure compliance with state and federal occupational safety and health standards.

This program provides the minimum requirements for unit-specific respiratory protection programs. It is expected that campus units will utilize this Respiratory Protection Program to develop unit-specific standard operating procedures (SOP), including completion and submission of Appendix A to OSH.


Occupational Safety and Health (OSH)
OSH is responsible for the administration of this program, which includes determining the need for respiratory protection based on the hazard assessment, respirator selection, initial training, and annual fit-testing. OSH maintains copies of all records for services provided by OSH about this program. An OSH program coordinator is designated to provide guidance, regulatory interpretation, and oversight for this Program and to review this Program annually. 

Deans, Department Heads, and Directors (Campus Units)
Campus units shall designate a Responsible Person that will be charged with implementing this program and unit-specific SOPs.

Campus Unit Responsible Person
The Responsible Person shall work with Campus Unit Supervisors to identify personnel that may be required to wear a respirator and shall keep OSH apprised of new potential hazards entering the work area for both new-hire personnel and those having a change in their job duties. In addition, personal protective equipment (PPE) assessments of work processes and tasks, described in the university’s Personal Protective Equipment Program, must be completed to ensure that all personnel within their unit affected by this Program receive medical clearance, and proper training and fit-testing. The Responsible Person shall ensure that Unit-Specific SOPs are reviewed annually.

Supervisors of Respirator Wearers (Supervisors)
Supervisors and Principle Investigators (PIs) are responsible for enforcing proper respirator use, care, maintenance, and storage of respirators for the wearers under their responsible charge in accordance with this Program and Unit-Specific SOPs. They shall assist in the development and annual review of Unit-Specific SOPs. They shall ensure that all their personnel who wear a respirator receive training and fit-testing on an annual basis. They must also ensure that all personnel have had a medical evaluation as dictated by the medical provider. The medical is at no cost to the individual.

Respirator Wearers
Affected faculty, staff, and students, herein called respirator wearers, are responsible for obtaining a medical clearance to wear a respirator, to be fit-tested, and to receive training. The respirator wearer shall use the respirator when required by the specified work activity and ensure that the respirator is donned, cleaned, stored, and maintained according to the provisions of this Program, Unit-Specific SOPs, and manufacturer instructions.


Request for Respirator Use
A Request for Respirator Use must be submitted to OSH for any individual wanting to wear a respirator. The request will be evaluated through a review of procedures, established engineering and administrative controls, and exposure monitoring. All costs associated with exposure monitoring will be at the expense of the requesting unit. Upon completion of the evaluation, OSH will provide a written determination of the need for a respirator and assist in the selection of appropriate respiratory protection.

This program will be reviewed annually by OSH. The written Unit-Specific SOPs shall be reviewed and updated by the respective Campus Unit at least annually and more frequently as hazards, tasks, procedures and/or equipment change.