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Respiratory Protection in the Workplace

Background and Purpose

Employers must make every effort to protect workers by minimizing the amount of hazardous substances in the air. When it is not possible to keep the airborne levels of a hazardous substance low enough to prevent health problems, the employer must provide employees with respirators.

In all workplaces where respirators are used, employers must have a program in place to ensure that respirators are used in a way that is safe and effective.  This program must identify a program administrator and include written procedures for the appropriate selection of respirators, medical clearance for respirator use, fit testing, training in the use and maintenance of respirators, recordkeeping, and program evaluation.

The CDPH Occupational Health Branch is available as a resource regarding all aspects of respiratory protection. Our goal is to increase the appropriate, effective use of respirators in workplaces throughout the state.  


To achieve this goal, we are:

  • Evaluating the use of respiratory protection in California hospitals
  • Improving respirator use in hospitals and other health care workplaces
  • Providing information and technical assistance on respirator use through the Workplace Hazard Helpline (866) 282-5516 or at resp@cdph.ca.gov
Related Links and Resources
Program Information
Last modified on: 6/8/2012 6:36 PM