OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Program: The Role of the Respiratory Protection Program Administ
OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Program: The Role of the Respiratory Protection Program Administ

OSHA's Respiratory Protection Program includes a Respiratory Protection course and accompanying resources for occupational health professionals who want to learn more about OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard and the role of the Respiratory Protection Program Administrator. You do NOT need to be an AAOHN member to participate in this free training or access the training resources. However, you will need to create an AAOHN Guest Account to access the course.

Each module is self-paced and you can do it anywhere, anytime. If you need to log out while using the course, you may login and resume the course to complete. 

Are you a Program Administrator who is:

  • Working in an organization required to follow OSHA’s respiratory protection standard?
  • Responsible for leading your organization’s respiratory protection program?

Each of the module titles listed below are available in the AAOHN Academy Online Education Center. Click on each title below for additional resources that pertain to the module's topic. The links below are not the online course modules. To access the modules, please go to the AAOHN Academy Online Education Center.

Module 1: Overview of OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard: Role of the Respiratory Protection Program Administrator

Overview of standard, general industry, state plans, overview of the 9 required respiratory protection required program elements; the written program, the role of the respiratory protection program administrator and team.
Additional Resources:

  • OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard & Appendices
  • OSHA State Plans
  • OSHA Small Entity Compliance Guide
  • OSHA’s Coronavirus Emergency Temporary Standard

Module 2: OSHA's Permissible Practice

Defines respiratory hazards, work-related respiratory illnesses, hierarch of respiratory protection controls, respiratory protection (PPE) as last line of defense.
Additional Resources:

  • eWorld: Work-Related Lung Disease Surveillance System

  • Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respiratory Protection Standard: Checklist for Permissible Practice
  • ASSP: How to Apply the Hierarchy of Controls in a Pandemic
  • NIOSH’s Hierarchy of Controls

Module 3: NIOSH Certified Respirators

Definition of a respirator; respirator classes/types; disposable vs. reusable; filtering facepiece respirator; PAPRs; air supply respirators; SCBAs; N95 vs. Surgical Mask; respirator filtering ratings; respirator cartridges/canisters; NIOSH testing/approving respirators; how to identify a certified respirator, counterfeit respirators.
Additional Resources:

  • NIOSH Certified Equipment List: Check for NIOSH-Certified Respirators
  • NIOSH’s Trusted Source
  • OSHA Video: Respirator Types
  • OSHA Video: Difference Between Respirators and Surgical Masks
  • OSHA Video: Counterfeit and Altered Respirators: The Importance of NIOSH Certification
  • OSHA’s Respirator Protection eTool
  • OSHA’s Assigned Protection Factor

Module 4: Respiratory Hazard Assessment

Overview of chemical, physical, biological, and radiation hazards, and recommended respiratory protection. Respirator use in IDLH conditions, types of respiratory hazards; hazard monitoring and assessment; Occupational Exposure Levels (OELs); manufacturer’s safety data sheets (SDS).
Additional Resources:

  • CDC’s HICPAC Guidelines
  • Hospital Respiratory Protection Program Toolkit
  • AIHA: Consulting Industrial Hygiene Services
  • OSHA: Small Business Consulting Services
  • OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard
  • OSHA’s Quick Card: Hazard Communication Safety Data Sheets
  • OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs)
  • NIOSH’s Recommended Exposure Limits (RELs)
  • ACGIH Threshold Limit Values (TLVs)

Module 5: Respirator Selection and Other Forms of PPE

Respirator selection based on respiratory hazard (e.g., chemical, biological); IDLH conditions, assigned protection factor (APF); OSHA’s maximum use concentration (MUC); manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheet (SDS).
Additional Resources:

  • NIOSH’s Respirator Logic
  • NIOSH’s Trusted Source
  • OSHA’s Respiratory Protection eTool
  • CDC’s HICPAC Guidelines
  • Hospital Respiratory Protection Program Toolkit

Module 6: Respirator Maintenance

Respirator inspection; respirator maintenance and cleaning; use of Appendix B-2; respirator packaging, storage, expiration data; canister, cartridge and filter replacement; respirator repair and replacement; disposal of single use respirators; the manufacturer’s insert as a guide for use and maintenance.
Additional Resources:

  • OSHA Video: Respirator Maintenance
  • OSHA’s eTool: Cartridge Service Life
  • NIOSH’s Trusted Source

Module 7: Respiratory Medical Evaluation

An overview of employer requirements; use of Appendix C: Medical Evaluation Form; follow-up medical exam; medical re-evaluation; workers’ health considerations; medical evaluation clearance; medical evaluation frequency; medical re-evaluation.
Additional Resources:

  • OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard: Appendix C
  • OSHA Video: OSHA Medical Evaluation

Module 8: Respirator Fit Testing

Respirators requiring fit testing; use of Appendix A; respirator fit testing procedures; qualitative fit testing; quantitative fit testing; fit testing frequency; conditions for retesting.
Additional Resources:

  • OSHA Video: Respirator Fit Testing
  • OSHA Video: Donning, Doffing, User Seal Check
  • OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard: Appendix A – Respiratory Fit Testing
  • OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard: Appendix B1 – User Seal Check Procedures

Module 9: Worker Training Requirements

An overview of OSHA training requirements; use of Appendix B-1; training frequency; respiratory hazards specific to the work setting/job tasks; respirator use; user seal check etc, conditions for retraining.
Additional Resources:

  • OSHA Video: Respiratory Protection Training Requirements
  • OSHA Video: OSHA Voluntary Use Respirators
  • Washington State Department of Labor & Industries: Five Steps of the Respiratory Protection Program

Module 10: The Written Respiratory Protection Program and Program Evaluation

The written program requirements; how to use a team approach to writing the respiratory protection program. How to use the written program to develop an evaluation program, how to conduct an evaluation, and how to develop an evaluation checklist for the this process.
Additional Resources:

In the AAOHN Academy Online Education Center, the course runs approximately 4 to 5 hours and includes numerous online links to external respiratory protection program resources. It is self-paced and you can stop at any time and pick back up at a later date. You can also access the course resources at any time. 

You will be awarded a certificate of completion upon completion of the training and the accompanying evaluation tool. Nurses will receive 5 CNEs upon completion.