Respirator Clearance

Respirator clearances are OSHA-mandated to determine if an employee can safely and effectively wear a respirator. Before your employees use a respirator or are fit-tested, they must be medically cleared by a licensed healthcare professional. The clearance process starts with the employee completing the Appendix C of OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard questionnaire which is available in English and Spanish. This form asks employees to provide information regarding their job and workplace, type of respirator(s) they use, and whether they have any symptoms or diagnoses that might compromise the safe use of a respirator.

If no unreasonable risks are identified the provider will either issue a respirator clearance based on the employee’s responses to the questionnaire. If the physician needs additional information to make a decision regarding the safe use of a respirator a physical exam and spirometry test will be performed and reviewed. Many employers will routinely require employees to undergo baseline and annual exams and spirometry to ensure objective information supports the employee’s questionnaire responses.

If your employees are new to respirator use, please provide them with the following so they can accurately complete their questionnaires.

  • Type and weight of respirator
  • Typically how many hours per day they will be wearing the respirator
  • Typically how many days per month they will be wearing the respirator
  • What additional personal protective equipment they will wear during respirator use
  • Whether the employees will be working under strenuous physical conditions during respirator use
  • Whether there will be any temperature or humidity extremes

Employees questionnaires must be kept confidential. Completed questionnaires should be placed in a sealed envelope by the employee.

Employees should be provided a copy of the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard and access to your company written respiratory protection program.