Wayne State University

Respiratory Protection Program - Training

The most thorough respiratory protection program will not be effective if employees do not wear respirators, or if wearing them, do not do so properly. The only way to ensure that our employees are aware of the purpose of wearing respirators, and how they are to be worn is to train them. Employee training is an important part of the respiratory protection program and is essential for correct respirator use.

The training program provided by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety includes:

  1. Respiratory hazards to which our employees are potentially exposed during routine and emergency situations, and;
  2. Proper use of respirators, including putting on and removing them, any limitations on their use, and their maintenance.

Both training parts are provided prior to requiring an employee to use a respirator in our workplace. However, if an employee has received training within 12 months addressing the seven basic elements of respiratory protection (see "Seven basic elements" below) and Wayne State University and the employee can demonstrate that he/she has knowledge of those elements, then that employee is not required to repeat such training initially.

We do require all employees to be retrained annually and when the following situations occur:

  • Changes in the workplace or the type of respirator render previous training obsolete;
  • Inadequacies in the employee's knowledge or use of the respirator indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite understanding or skill; or
  • Any other situation arises in which retraining appears necessary to ensure safe respirator use.

Seven basic elements of training:

Our employees are trained sufficiently to be able to demonstrate knowledge of at least these seven elements:

  1. Why the respirator is necessary and how improper fit, usage, or maintenance can compromise the protective effect of the respirator. 
  2. What the limitations and capabilities of the respirator are.
  3. How to use the respirator effectively in emergency situations, including situations in which the respirator malfunctions.
  4. How to inspect, put on, remove, use, and check the seals of the respirator.
  5. What the procedures are for maintenance and storage of the respirator.
  6. How to recognize medical signs and symptoms that may limit or prevent the effective use of respirators.
  7. The general requirements of 29 CFR 1910.134.

To schedule Respiratory Protection Training, contact OEH&S at 313-577-1200.