Respiratory Protection Program Guidelines

Respiratory Protection

EH&S evaluates workplaces for possible airborne hazards and recommends ways to reduce these hazards when found. When appropriate, EH&S will fit campus workers with respirators and provide annual training on their proper use. EH&S evaluates a person's ability to safely wear a respirator prior to a respirator being issued in accordance with Cal/OSHA regulation 8 CCR 5144.

Voluntary Respirator Use is characterized by the employee requesting to use an N95 respirator when not required by the employer. 

Mandatory Respirator Use is characterized by the employer requiring the employee to wear an N95 respirator when performing potentially hazardous activities. 

Reference the table below to determine whether to submit a Voluntary Use or Mandatory Use respirator request.

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Examples of Voluntary Respirator Usage
  • COVID-19 concerns for at-risk individuals (e.g., immunocompromised, unvaccinated, elderly) 
  • Hazardous air pollution due to wildfire events 
  • Seasonal allergies for outdoor work environments
  • Working in non-hazardous dusty work environments 
  • Odors within non-hazardous work environments 

Request for Voluntary Use

Examples of Mandatory Respirator Usage
  • Potentially hazardous work operations (e.g., laboratory operations, chemicals, mold spores) 
  • Medical settings (e.g., bioaerosols)
  • General work-related exposure to hazardous dusts, vapors/gases, and fumes/smoke. 

Request For Mandatory Use


Respiratory Protection Resources