The University of Arizona Respiratory Protection Program (RPP) is a joint effort by Research Laboratory & Safety Services, Risk Management Services, and Occupational Health. RLSS provides hazard assessments and respirator fit testing to the University of Arizona research community. All UA employees must use the following process to be evaluated, cleared, trained, fit tested, and purchase respirators at the University of Arizona.
The process for enrolling into the RPP and obtaining respiratory protection at the University of Arizona is as follows:
1. Initiate request via the online respiratory protection form
2. Complete the online medical evaluation questionnaire
3. Complete the training and schedule fit testing
4. Use existing or purchase new respirators from Facilities Management (FM)
Occupational Health (OH), Research Laboratory and Safety Services (RLSS), Risk Management Services (RMS) and Facilities Management (FM) have partnered together to ensure a safe and compliant respiratory protection program at the University of Arizona.
- Occupational Health (OH) - Provides the OSHA mandated medical clearance and support.
- Research Laboratory & Safety Services (RLSS) - Perform hazard assessments, select appropriate respiratory protection equipment, fit test, train, and provide limited respirators for fit-testing procedures.
- Risk Management Services (RMS) - Perform hazard assessments, select appropriate respiratory protection equipment, fit test, train, and provide limited respirators for fit-testing procedures.
- Facilities Management (FM) - Procures and distributes personal protective equipment (PPE) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Respiratory protection can only be supplied to users if all OSHA-mandated steps are followed:
- 1. Hazard Assessments
To determine if and what type of respiratory protection is needed, Research Laboratory and Safety Services (RLSS) or Risk Management Services (RMS) must provide a documented (official letter, email, etc.) hazard assessment to UA Occupational Health.
a. Due to extreme PPE shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, part of the assessment will be to determine if you currently or will have an adequate supply of respiratory protection for fit-testing and regular use.
b. To begin the process, complete the online respiratory protection form as soon as possible.
i. Research lab staff may alternatively contact RLSS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ii. Other University Staff may alternatively contact RMS at RMSemail@example.com.
iii. For questions or concerns, please email RLSS or RMS; remember to include your name, reason for a respirator, and the number of employees needing respiratory protection.
- 2. Medical Evaluation and Clearance
The next OSHA requirement for use of respirators in the workplace is to have all workers evaluated and medically cleared to use respiratory protection.
a. This is completed after you have submitted your request for a hazard assessment, as per the step above, and is performed by Occupational Health (OH).
i. Questions regarding medical clearance should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
b. Once your hazard assessment is complete and approved, complete, and submit the online OSHA medical evaluation questionnaire.
c. You will need a UA NetID to login in. Please log in if/when prompted.
d. Create an account if you have not already done so. Please enter your UA email address in the appropriate field
- Click on "My Forms"
- Choose 105 - OSHA Respirator.
- Click "Initiate Form"
- Please complete the form
- Click "Submit Form" when finished.
- 3. Training and Fit Testing
a. You will be enrolled into the respirator fit training on EDGE Learning once you complete the training you will be given a link to schedule your fit testing.
i. You must either:
1. Bring your own respirators to your appointment, OR
2. Purchase a single respirator at the time of the appointment, via Account-to-Account transfer.
a. Please be aware that the style and sizes available from RLSS and FM are extremely limited, and you may not be able to successfully fit test into those available. Workers must never use a respirator that has not passed a fit test as it will NOT adequately protect them.
b. Purchases may be covered by FM and the CARES act if respirators will be used to furnish a safe workplace, NOT for routine activities like research experiments that have always required respiratory protection.
b. Individuals who work at a UA site off main campus, such as College of Medicine – Phoenix, will need to be fit tested by an outside entity. You will need to request a referral form from Occupational Health to be fit tested at a local site that provides fit testing.
i. Once your fit testing is complete, you will need to send a copy of your fit testing certificate to RLSS-PPE@email.arizona.edu so your certificate can be uploaded into the UA medical database.
c. Once you have had a successful fit test, you are authorized to wear your respiratory protection at work and may contact FM to purchase a supply of respirators.
i. Respirators supplied at the time of fit testing will be charged along with those respirators purchased directly from FM.
ii. You must provide proof of your fit test to FM at the time of purchase, or your order will not be fulfilled.
- 4. Annual Recertification
OSHA mandates that this process be completed on at least an annual basis, to ensure the respiratory protection is still required and adequate for the intended uses and that the respirator still properly fits the worker.
a. In limited cases, annual fit testing requirements have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
b. If you were previously fit tested to a model and size of N95 that you no longer have access to, please contact RLSS (RLSSemail@example.com) to schedule a re-fit test to a different model and size N95 that your department will have available to you in a sustainable supply.
University of Arizona Respiratory Protection Resources (links)
- University of Arizona Respiratory Protection Program
- Respiratory Protection Acquisition Process
- Voluntary Respirator Use Policy
Additional Respiratory Protection Resources (links)
- 29 CFR 1910.134 Respiratory Protection (OSHA Regulation)
- National Institute of Occupational Health & Safety (NIOSH) Respiratory Protection
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Extended Use and Limited Reuse of Respirators Guidance
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Personal Protective Equipment Burn Rate Calculator
- Cleaning and Disinfecting 3M Reusable Elastomeric Half and Full Face-piece Respirators Following Potential Exposure to Coronaviruses