Major Requirements
of OSHA Respiratory
Protection Standard
29 CFR 1910.134
Greg Gatcomb
29 CFR 1910
This standard applies to:
General Industry (Part 1910),
Shipyards (Part 1915),
Marine Terminals (Part 1917),
Longshoring (Part 1918), and
Construction (Part 1926).
Organization of Standard
Permissible practice
Respirator program
Selection of respirators
Medical evaluation
Fit testing
Use of respirators
Maintenance and care
(i) Breathing air quality and
(j) Identification of filters,
cartridges, and canisters
(k) Training and information
(l) Program evaluation
(m) Recordkeeping
Permissible Practice (a) (1)
 The primary means to control occupational
diseases caused by breathing contaminated air
is through the use of feasible engineering
controls, such as enclosures, confinement of
operations, ventilation, or substitution of less
toxic materials.
 When effective engineering controls are not
feasible, or while they are being instituted,
appropriate respirators shall be used pursuant to
this standard.
Definitions (b)
 This section includes definitions of important
– Air purifying, Assigned protection factor (APF), Air
supplied respirator, Canister or cartridge, Demand
respirator, Emergency situation, Employee exposure,
End of life service indicator (ELSI), Escape only, Filter
or air purifying element, Filtering facepiece, Fit factor,
Fit test, Helmet, Hood, Interior structural fire fighting,
Loose fitting facepiece, Maximum use
Respiratory Protection Program (c) (1)
 Must develop a written program with worksitespecific procedures when respirators are
necessary or required by the employer
 Voluntary Respirator use-make employee aware
of information in Appendix D and consult flow
chart for other requirements
 Must update program as necessary to reflect
changes in workplace conditions that affect
respirator use
Respiratory Protection Program (c)
 (3) The employer shall designate a program
administrator who is qualified by appropriate
training or experience to administer or oversee
the program and conduct the required program
evaluations for effectiveness.
 (4)The employer shall provide respirators,
training, and medical evaluations at no cost to
the employee.
Note: OSHA has prepared a Small Entity Compliance Guide that contains
criteria for selection of a program administrator and a sample program.
Selection of Respirators (d)
 (1) General requirements
– (i) Employer must select and provide an appropriate respirator
based on the respiratory hazards to which the worker is exposed
and workplace and user factors that affect respirator
performance and reliability.
– (ii) Select a NIOSH-certified respirator that shall be used in
compliance with the conditions of its certification.
– (iii) Identify and evaluate the respiratory hazards in the
workplace, including a reasonable estimate of employee
exposures and identification of the contaminant’s chemical state
and physical form. Where exposure cannot be identified or
reasonably estimated, the atmosphere shall be considered
Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH)
Selection of Respirators (d)
 (2) Respirators for IDLH atmospheres
– (i) (A) Full Facepiece Pressure Demand SCBA certified by
NIOSH for a minimum service life of 30 minutes
– (i) (B) Combination Full Facepiece Pressure Demand SAR with
Auxiliary Self-Contained Air Supply
Selection of Respirators (d)
 (3) Respirators for atmospheres that are not
– (i) (A) Assigned Protection Factors (APFs) Employers
must use the APF’s listed in Table 1 to select a respirator
that meets or exceeds the required level of protection.
Respirator Type1,
Half Mask
Continuous Flow
other (+)
other (+)
Air Purifying
--------------------- ------------------425/1,000
Selection of Respirators (d)
 (3) (B) Maximum Use Concentration
– (1) The employer must select a respirator that maintains
exposure to the hazardous substance, when measured outside
the respirator, at or below the MUC.
– (2) Employers must not apply MUCs to conditions that are IDLH;
must use SCBA or SAR with Escape cylinder
– (3) When the calculated MUC exceeds the IDLH level for a
hazardous substance, or the performance limits of the cartridge
or canister, then employers must set the maximum MUC at that
lower limit
Maximum Use Concentration
What is the MUC for an employee wearing a halfmask air purifying respirator (APF=10) in an
atmosphere of sulfur dioxide gas (PEL=5 ppm)?
MUC = APF x OSHA Exposure Limit
MUC = 10 x 5 ppm = 50 ppm
Note that this calculated value does not exceed
the IDLH level for sulfur dioxide (100 ppm), so that
the MUC for this example would be 50 ppm.
Selection of Respirators (d)
 (3) Respirators for atmospheres that are not
– (ii) (3) The respirator selected shall be appropriate for
the chemical state and physical form of the
Selection of Respirators (d)
 (3) Respirators for atmospheres that are not
– (iii) For protection against gases and vapors, the
employer shall provide:
 (B) An air purifying respirator
– (1) Provided that the respirator is equipped with an end of
service life indicator (ELSI) certified by NIOSH for the
– (2) If there is no ELSI appropriate for workplace conditions, the
employer implements a change schedule for canisters and
cartridges that will ensure they are changed before the end of
their service life.
Selection of Respirators (d)
 (3) Respirators for atmospheres that are not
– (iv) For protection against particulates the employer
shall provide
 An air purifying respirator equipped with a HEPA filter
certified by NIOSH under 30 CFR Part II or with filters
certified for particulates under 42 CFR Part 84(N,R,P) or
 An air purifying respirator equipped with any filter certified for
particulates by NIOSH for contaminants consisting primarily
of particles of at least 2 micrometers.
Choose Filter
(95%, 99%, 99.97%)
Will Filter
Be Used More Than
8 Hours?
Use P
Series Filter
Does the
Aerosol Contain
Use R
Series Filter
Use N, R, or P
Series Filter
Medical Evaluation (e)
 (1) General. The employer must provide a
medical evaluation to determine employees
ability to use a respirator before fit testing and
 (2) Medical evaluation procedures.
– (i) The employer must identify a physician or other
licensed health care professional (PLHCP) to
perform medical evaluations using a medical
questionnaire or an initial medical evaluation that
obtains the same information.
Fit Testing (f)
 (1) All employees using a negative or positive pressure tight
fitting facepiece respirator must pass an appropriate
qualitative fit test (QLFT) or quantitative fit test (QNFT).
 (2)Fit testing is required prior to initial use, whenever a
different respirator facepiece is used and at least annually
 (3) Additional fit test is required when the employee reports,
or the employer, PLHCP, supervisor, or program administrator
makes visual observations of changes in the employees
physical condition that could affect respirator fit ( e.g., facial
scarring, dental changes, cosmetic surgery or change in body
Fit Testing (f)
 (5) The fit test shall be administered using an
OSHA-accepted QLFT or QNFT protocol as
contained in mandatory appendix A.
– QLFT Protocols:
 Isoamyl acetate
 Saccharin
 Bitrex
 Irritant smoke
– QNFT Protocols:
 Generated Aerosol (corn oil, salt, DEHP)
 Condensation Nuclei Counter (PortaCount)
 Controlled Negative Pressure (Dynatech FitTester 3000)
 Controlled Negative Pressure (CNP) REDON
Fit Testing (f)
 (6) QLFT may only be used to fit negative
pressure air purifying respirators that must
achieve a fit factor or 100 or less.
Fit Testing (f)
 (7) If the fit factor, as determined through an
OSHA-accepted QNFT protocol is equal to or
greater than 100 for tight fitting half facepieces
or greater than 500 for tight fitting full
facepieces, the QNFT has passed with that
Fit Factor
A quantitative estimate of the fit of a particular
respirator to a specific individual, and typically
estimates the ratio:
Concentration of a substance in ambient air
Concentration inside the respirator when
Use of respirators (g)
 (1) Facepiece seal protection
– (i) The employer shall not permit respirators with tight
fitting facepieces to be worn by employees who have:
 (A) Facial hair that comes between the sealing surface of the
facepiece and the face or that interferes with valve function.
 (B) Personal protective equipment shall be worn in such a
manner that does not interfere with the seal of the facepiece
to the face of the user.
Use of Respirators (g)
 (iii) Employees shall perform a user seal check
each time they put on a tight-fitting respirator
using the procedures in mandatory Appendix B1 or equally effective manufacturer’s
Maintenance and Care of Respirators (h)
 (1) The employer shall ensure that the
respirators are cleaned and disinfected using the
procedures in Appendix B-2 or equally effective
procedures recommended by the respirator
– (i) Respirators for the exclusive use of an employee shall be cleaned and
disinfected as often as necessary to be maintained in a sanitary condition.
– (ii) Respirators issued to more than one employee shall be cleaned and
disinfected before being worn by different individuals.
– (iii) Emergency use respirators shall be cleaned and disinfected after each
– (iv) Respirators used in fit testing and training shall be cleaned and
disinfected after each use
Breathing Air Quality and Use (i)
 (1) (ii)Compressed breathing air must meet at
least the requirements for Type 1 - Grade D
breathing air described in ANSI/CGA G-7.11989:
– Oxygen content (v/v) of 19.5 - 23.5%
– Hydrocarbon (condensed) content of 5 milligrams per
cubic meter (mg/m3) of air or less
– CO content of 10 parts per million (ppm) or less
– CO2 content of 1,000 ppm or less
– Lack of noticeable odor
Identification of filters, cartridges and canisters
 All filters, cartridges and canisters
used in the workplace must be labeled
and color coded with the NIOSH
approval label and that the label is not removed
and must remain legible.
Training and Information (k)
 Employers must provide
effective training to
employees who are
required to use
respirators. The training
must be comprehensive,
understandable and
recur annually and more
often if necessary.
Training and Information (k)
 (1) Employees who are required to use respirators must be
trained such that they can demonstrate knowledge of at
– (i) why the respirator is necessary and how improper fit, use, or
maintenance can compromise its protective effect
– (ii) limitations and capabilities of the respirator
– (iii) effective use in emergency situations
– (iv)how to inspect, put on and remove, use and check the seals
– (v) maintenance and storage
– (vi) recognition of medical signs and symptoms that may limit or
prevent effective use
Training and Information (k)
 (5)Retraining is required annually, and when:
– (i) changes in the workplace or type of respirator
render previous training obsolete
– (ii) there are inadequacies in the employee’s
knowledge or use
– (iii) any other situation arises in which retraining
appears necessary
Program Evaluation (l)
 (1) Must conduct evaluations of the workplace as
necessary to ensure effective implementation of the
 (2) Must regularly consult employees required to use
respirators to assess their views on program
effectiveness and to identify and correct any problems
– factors to be assessed include, but are not limited to:
(i) respirator fit (including effect on workplace performance)
(ii) appropriate selection
(iii) proper use
(iv) proper maintenance
Recordkeeping (m)
 (1) Records of medical evaluations must be retained and
made available per 29 CFR 1910.1020
 (2) A record of fit tests must be established and retained
until the next fit test is administered
 (3) A written copy of the current program must be
 (4) Written materials required to be retained must be
made available upon request to affected employees and
Commonly missed
Under Use of Respirators Section
Procedures for IDLH environments
1 outside,communication,rescue
Procedures for Interior Structural Firefighting
2 in 2 out rule

Major Requirements of OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard 29