We want to protect your body and lungs. When all other engineering and work place practice controls are exhausted, then respirators will be worn when the employee is exposed to harmful dusts, fumes, gases, mists, vapors, and sprays that are above the permitted exposure limits.

There are two main types of respirators; air purifying and air supplied. Air supplied respirators are used when the oxygen levels are low or the concentrations of contaminate are extremely high.


Who can wear a respirator?

  • WAC 296-842-15005
  • Before any employee is allowed to wear a tight fitting respirator, three things must first be done:
  • Fit testing annually, if required, to ensure an adequate fit to the face. Facial hair cannot interfere with the respirator’s face-piece seal or valve function.  
  • Medical clearance
  • Respirator training to ensure proper care and use of respirator

Before donning the Respirator

  • Inspect the respirator for cracks or other damage.
  • Conduct a positive and negative pressure test.

Care of the Respirator

  • Respirators shall be kept in a sanitary condition, covered at all times when not in use. 
  • Respirators shall be stored properly so that they are protected from deformation, sunlight and contamination from dust or damaging chemicals. Never hang a respirator on a nail.


The reason we wear respirator is to protect our lungs and bodies against hazardous fumes, gases, mists, vapors or sprays. Clean and disinfect the interior and exterior of the respirator.

Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.

Questions for Discussion

  • Are there any special maintenance or storage conditions?
  • What affects the fit of the respirator?
  • What work area would require an air supplied respirator?