Washington State University
Environmental Health & Safety Respiratory Protection

Respiratory Protection

Employees exposed, or potentially exposed to respiratory hazards such as dusts, mists, fumes, and/or vapors may be required to wear respiratory protection. The hierarchy of hazard control dictates that exposures would preferentially be controlled by eliminating the hazard, substituting a less hazardous chemical or product, using engineering controls such as local exhaust ventilation, or implementing administrative controls such as work methods prior to using personal protective equipment (PPE). Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) conducts hazard assessments to evaluate whether respiratory protection is necessary. Please contact EH&S for assistance with a hazard assessment at 509-335-0026.

Employees required to wear a respirator must be enrolled in WSU’s Respiratory Protection Program. The program requires employees to be medically cleared to wear a respirator, the respirator to be annually fit-tested, and the employee trained. Medical clearance is required  prior to fit testing.

MultiCare Occupational Medicine provides WSU’s respiratory protection program medical evaluation services. Engage MultiCare Occupational Medicine’s medical evaluation services by completing a questionnaire via secure web portal at https://app.vestmed.com/login/multicare/. MultiCare maintains strict privacy of your personal health information.

Contact your supervisor or EH&S at 509-335-0026 for the Username and Password. Complete the form, including your “group,” which is your WSU Department via a dropdown list. If you don’t see your department listed, contact EH&S.

After completing the questionnaire, you will be cleared and receive an e-mail certificate instantly, or you will be asked to call for a phone consultation. Following the phone consultation, you will be cleared or referred for a physical examination. EH&S automatically receives a copy of your clearance certificate (no medical information).

After obtaining medical clearance to wear a respirator, contact EH&S at 509-335-0026, to schedule a respirator fit test. Fit testing helps ensure the respirator provides protection. WSU personnel receive some respirator training concurrent with fit testing; however, all respirator users should complete the PPE – Respiratory Protection training by logging into their account on HRS’ Learning and Organizational Development webpage.  Medical clearance is an annual or two year renewal requirement, this will be discussed during respirator training. Fit testing and training are annual requirements when personnel wear respirators to reduce exposure to contaminants below permissible levels or when mandated by the employer.

Employees not required to wear a respirator but who choose to wear a N95 or greater disposable respirator are to be provided information on the voluntary use of respirators.

Employees not required to wear a respirator but who choose to wear an elastomeric reusable respirator must be medically cleared and provided information on the voluntary use of respirators.



Employees receive training on how to properly use respirators from OH&S during their annual respirator fit-test.