Back to all

OSHA’s Top 10: Respiratory Protection

OSHA’s Top 10: Respiratory Protection

Respirators provide workers with protection against exposures to toxic substances in the air (e.g. chemical fumes, vapors, dusts) and/or insufficient oxygen. Working in these types of atmospheres without respiratory protection can lead to respiratory illnesses, cancer or even death.

Tight-fitting respirators must be “fit tested” – i.e. there must be a proper seal around the respirator so the outside atmosphere can’t get in. Beards, sideburns and even two-day stubble can prevent a tight seal. If the worker is required to wear a tight-fitting respirator, the worker will have to shave before using the respirator in a hazardous environment.

There are many different types of respirators for different situations, and many are tight-fitting. The two main categories are:

Air-purifying respirators (APRs)

These respirators can remove contaminants in the air by filtering out particulates (e.g., dusts, mists, etc.) or by “adsorbing” gases or vapors on adsorbing material in a canister or cartridge. They are tight-fitting and come in different forms:

  • quarter-mask (covering the nose and mouth)
  • half-face mask (covering the face from the nose to below the chin)
  • full facepiece (covering the face from above the eyes to below the chin)

There are also “mouth bit” respirators, but they are for emergency use only.

Supplied-air respirators (SARs)

These respirators supply clean air from a compressed air tank or through an air line. They may have either tight-fitting or loose-fitting respiratory inlets. Respirators with tight-fitting respiratory inlets have half or full facepieces. The two main types are:

  • Supplied-air respirator
  • Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)

Safety violations related to respiratory protection are on OSHA’s Top 10 list of compliance violations. If OSHA inspected your workplace tomorrow, would you be able to demonstrate that your workers know how to use their respirators properly? Could you prove that they have received training? We can help!

When your workers have taken Vubiz’ “Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)” course, they will be able to:

  • Explain the purpose of personal protective equipment in general and respiratory protection in particular.
  • Identify the most common types of respirators and give examples of each.
  • Recall the processes for selecting, fit testing and maintaining respirators
  • Identify the responsibilities of managers/supervisors and workers in ensuring safety and health in the workplace.

When you purchase access to this and other Vubiz courses, your workers’ learning is automatically recorded in a Learning Management System (LMS), so you can see who has successfully completed the training and when. Your training records are generated automatically! Courses are also available to be put on your LMS if you have one.


Did you know that OSHA’s Safe and Sound Week is August 12-18, 2019? OSHA sets this week aside every year for companies to celebrate their safety and health successes. Providing safety training is a great way for your company to participate, and we can help. If you purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for your workers by August 18, we’ll give you 20% off the regular price if you use the coupon code Safe+Sound2019.

Contact Vubiz for additional information.

Launch Course