Individuals must register for EHS 532 Respiratory Protection Training (Online) at My EHS Training. Once registered, individuals will receive instructions on how to access the Quercus course.
What training do I need to use a respirator?
After individuals have completed the course content and passed the quiz, they will be permitted to schedule a respirator fit-test using the Fit Testing Schedule provided.
Fit-testing will only take place during the allotted time frames provided by EHS.
Individuals will not be fit-tested unless the following conditions are met:
- Online training has been successfully completed with a minimum grade of 70% (this requirement will be screened by EHS prior to each fit testing date)
- Individuals must be clean-shaven where the respirator is in contact with the face
- Individuals must bring a completed Respirator User Screening Form to the fit-test appointment
To view upcoming dates to get fit tested, please see available appointment times:
In addition to the training, the following resources are available:
- Respiratory Protection Program
- Quick Reference Guide: Putting on and removing your disposable respirator
- Quick Reference Guide: Air-Purifying Non-Powered Elastomeric Respirators
- Respiratory User Screening Form
- Respirator Selection Chart for Asbestos Operations
- Respiratory Fit Testing Schedule
When do I need a respirator?
Appropriate respiratory protection might be required for University workers exposed to potentially hazardous environments, such as airborne contaminants (dusts, fumes, mists, gases, vapours, aerosols and airborne pathogens) or oxygen deficiency.
In most cases, respirators should NOT be the primary choice for hazard control. The elimination or reduction of respiratory hazards through substitution or engineering controls is preferred.
In order to determine the presence of an airborne hazard and whether or not a respirator is required, a hazard assessment of the work process and area should first be conducted by the supervisor. If necessary, this can be conducted in consultation with EHS. Some of the elements of a hazard assessment of a respiratory hazard include:
- Identification of contaminants (chemical, biological) that are or may be present;
- Identification of physical states of all airborne contaminants;
- Determination of the likelihood of inhalation of the contaminants;
- Measurement or estimate of the concentration of the contaminants;
- Review of applicable occupational exposure limits, health regulations, or other substance-specific standards for the contaminants;
- Determination of skin or eye absorption and irritation characteristics.
What are the types of respirators available?
It is important to choose the right type of respirator for the type of hazards in the workplace. Respirator selection is based on a systematic review of the hazards and knowledge of standards, regulatory criteria, and manufacture information on the types of respirators and their limitations.
There are 2 main categories of respirators: air-purifying and atmosphere-supplying respirators. An air-purifying respirator has a filter or cartridge that removes specific contaminants from ambient air, whereas an atmosphere-supplying respirator supplies the user with breathing air from an independent source such as a tank or compressor. Respirators can also be classified as tight-fitting (i.e. facepiece forms a complete seal with the face) or loose-fitting (e.g. hood-type respirator).
Only acceptable, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approved respirators shall be selected and used. At UTSC, workers will typically use air-purifying, tight-fitting respirators, such as disposable N95 respirators, and elastomeric half-face and full-face respirators.