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Respirator Use Program (Fit Testing)

For new employees, an initial Fit Testing will be performed during your onboarding visit. Current Employees undergo Fit Testing on a periodic basis.

UAB Employee Health is conducting Fit Testing in accordance with OSHA standards for all UAB employees.

EH fit testing inline h 800x640pxThe purpose of the N95 Respiratory Protection Program is to establish standard operating procedures based on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standards for General Industry (29 CFR Part 1910, Subpart I, Standard Number 1910.134) to ensure the protection of all employees from respiratory hazards through proper selection and use of respirators.

Participation in the UAB Respiratory Protection Program is required when the workplace use of a hazardous material itself cannot be eliminated or reduced to a level not associated with adverse health effects or there is no less hazardous alternative material that can be utilized. Employees will be evaluated for existing health conditions that may not be compatible with respirator use. Once medically cleared by UAB Employee Health, employees may be fit tested for the respirator best suited for them and their job.

Respirators are used in the workplace to protect employees from inhaling hazardous materials present in the air. These materials can be in the form of gases, vapors, mists or dust. To provide proper protection, respirators must be the right type, must be worn correctly at all times, and must be maintained properly.


  • Who requires a respirator?

    Examples of job activities on UAB campus that require a respirator include, but are not limited to:

    • Staff working in or entering BSL3-Tb labs
    • Staff working with animals infected with Tb, H1N1 Influenza
    • Staff cleaning spills of human pathogens transmitted by the aerosol route outside of a biosafety cabinet
    • Staff working in or entering labs and/or the animal facility of SEBLAB
    • Staff working with chemical agents that exceed regulated airborne limits
    • Staff working in or entering a patient room requiring "airborne precautions"

    A list of hospital employees required to fit test annually can be found in the UAB Health System: Airborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan, January 1, 2014, Appendix C.

  • Testing Information
    • The process will take at least 10 minutes.
    • Employee should not smoke, eat, chew gum or drink anything other than plain water 15 minutes prior to fit test.
    • The Respiratory Protection standard, paragraph 29 CFR 1910.134(g)(1)(i)(A), states that respirators shall not be worn when facial hair comes between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face or that interferes with valve function. Please refer to the provided facial hair chart below for facial hair recommendations per OSHA standards.

    Illustration provided by the CDC