Respiratory Protection Program

Preparing to Use a Respirator at the University of Minnesota

There are several steps to be completed before you may use a respirator at the University of MN. Per the Respiratory Protection Program, respiratory protection is designated by University Health and Safety as either mandatory or voluntary use, depending upon the exposure assessment and the level of hazard.

Employees that have questions about hazard evaluation and determination of the need for respiratory protection can find information for workplace respirator consultation and hazard assessments by visiting the Industrial Hygiene Respiratory Protection website.

Voluntary and Mandatory Respirator Use Requirements

Employees must complete specific requirements depending on the respirator that they wear, and whether the use of the respirator is mandatory or voluntary.

Please see the chart below for the specific requirements. Additional information about fulfilling the requirements can be found below the chart.

Employees may visit the University Health and Safety Mask Support Program for more comprehensive information about Voluntary Respirator Use.

Respirator Protection 
Designation
Type of Respirator Respirator Medical
Evaluation
Respirator Online Training Respirator
Fit Testing
VOLUNTARY
  • Dust mask or N95

No

Voluntary Use Respiratory Protection Training 
(complete once)

No
  • Elastomeric negative pressure respirator
  • Supplied Air Respirator
  • Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) 

Yes 
(complete every 2-5 years, depending on program)

Voluntary Use Respiratory Protection Training
(complete once)

No
REQUIRED
  • Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) 

Yes 
(complete every 2-5 years, depending on program)

Respiratory Protection Training (complete annually)

Contact uohs@umn.edu if your department requires in-person training

No
  • N95 
  • Elastomeric negative pressure respirator
  • Supplied Air Respirator

Yes 
(complete every 2-5 years, depending on program)

Respiratory Protection Training (complete annually)

Contact uohs@umn.edu if your department requires in-person training

Yes 
(complete annually)

Process for Respirator Medical Clearance

  1. Respiratory Medical Evaluation 
    Required every 2-5 years, depending on your program requirements. Please check the OH Portal to see if you are due before placing a request. 

    Complete the Respiratory Medical Evaluation Request.  

    You will receive an e-mail from admin@saludsystems.com with a personalized link to complete an online Respiratory Medical Evaluation.    

    Instructions for filling out this form can be found by visiting the Respiratory Medical Evaluation Instructions page.

  2. Respirator Online Training 
    Follow the appropriate link in the table above to access the online training in Training Hub.

  3. Respirator Fit Testing 
    Required annually 

    An employee must complete the Respiratory Medical Evaluation and the Respiratory Protection Training listed above, prior to completing Fit Testing.

    Note: Respiratory Fit Testing is not required for voluntary respirator use or for employees that use PAPRs.

    Twin Cities Campus
    Fit Testing for N95/filtering facepiece respirators is completed at HealthPartners Occupational Medicine. Visit the Clinical Services page for more information and locations.

    Fit Testing for other types of respirators (non N95s) will be completed by University Health and Safety on campus. Please contact uohs@umn.edu and prepare for the following:

1.Bring a copy of your Respiratory Medical Recommendation form.
2.If you already have a respirator, bring it with you. Otherwise, the appropriate respirator will be provided for you.
3.The fit test takes about 15-minutes. The test is a series of 7-8 simple one-minute exercises designed to test the overall fit of the respirator. You will also receive basic information on using the respirator.
4.No chewing gum, drinking coffee, or smoking 15-minutes before the test.
5.Men are required to be clean-shaven in the areas where the respirator seal touches the face. If you are not clean-shaven, you will not be fit tested.
6.It gets hot under the fit test hood. Wear scrubs or a short-sleeved shirt. 
Duluth Campus 
Contact Andy Kimball

All other Campuses  
Visit the Clinical Services page for more information and locations.

For questions, contact BOHD at uohs@umn.edu or (612) 626-5008

Related Information

Looking for information on respiratory protection for lab animals? Visit the Allergen Exposure Control Program page to download the Laboratory Animal Allergens and Related Respiratory Protection document.