Respiratory Protection Program

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standard on Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134) requires that a Respiratory Protection program be established by the employer and that respirators be provided when such equipment is necessary to protect the health of the employee.

The goal of Lafayette College’s Respiratory Protection Program is to control respiratory hazards at their point of generation by using engineering controls and good work practices. Accordingly, the use of respirators as a primary means of protecting employees and students from airborne hazards is considered acceptable only in very specific situations.

Before anyone can wear a respirator, the following OSHA-required conditions must be met:

  • Written medical approval must be obtained from a physician;
  • Training must be provided on proper respirator use; and
  • Qualitative and/or quantitative fit testing of the respirator on the individual must be conducted.

If an employee uses a respirator that is not required by this program, supervisors must follow the instructions for Voluntary Use.

voluntary use information

Lafayette employees and/or student workers may elect to use filtering facepiece respirators (e.g., N95 or N99 disposable dust masks) on a voluntary basis, during activities that involve exposure to low-level, non-hazardous nuisance dust or other similar particulate.

If an employee is voluntarily wearing this type of respirator, their supervisor must provide a Voluntary Use Disclosure Form, and after the employee reviews and signs the form, return the completed form to EHS.

The College strictly prohibits the voluntary use of any respirator other than the above-referenced filtering facepiece respirators.

Training for the Voluntary Use of filtering facepiece REspirators (N95)