Healthcare Respiratory Protection Resources

Updated May 7, 2020

Fit Testing

Fit Testing

NIOSH Documents

Filtering out Confusion: Frequently Asked Questions about Respiratory Protection, Fit Testing
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2018-129 (April 2018)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (29 CFR 1910.134) requires an annual respirator fit test to confirm the fit of any respirator that forms a tight seal on the wearer’s face before it is used in the workplace. This ensures that users are receiving the expected level of protection by minimizing any contaminant leakage into the facepiece.

Hospital Respiratory Protection Program Toolkit (2015)
This toolkit was developed to assist hospitals in developing and implementing effective respiratory protection programs, with an emphasis on preventing the transmission of aerosol transmissible diseases (ATDs) to healthcare personnel.

Healthcare personnel are paid and unpaid persons who provide patient care in a healthcare setting or support the delivery of healthcare by providing clerical, dietary, housekeeping, engineering, security, or maintenance services. Healthcare personnel may potentially be exposed to ATD pathogens. Aerosols are particles or droplets suspended in air. ATDs are diseases transmitted when infectious agents, which are suspended or present in particles or droplets, contact the mucous membranes or are inhaled.

Implementing Hospital Respiratory Protection Programs: Strategies from the Fieldexternal icon (2015)
Protecting workers from exposure to all types of respiratory hazards is an important issue for hospitals and other healthcare organizations. In order to address this often overlooked danger, The Joint Commission and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) have collaborated to develop a new educational monograph designed to assist hospitals in implementing their respiratory protection programs (RPPs).


Infographic - NIOSH Reach II Study: Understanding and Selecting Respiratory Protection Devices

NIOSH Reach II Study: Understanding and Selecting Respiratory Protection Devices (2011-2012)
Infographic addressing situations that require respiratory protection and whether an N95 FFR or a surgical mask should be utilized.
PDFpdf icon [445 KB], Imageimage icon [1,940 KB]

Infographic - Respiration Fit Test Requirements

Summary of Respiration Fit Test Requirements (2015)
Infographic explaining who needs to get fit tested, how to get fit tested, and the required follow up.
PDF pdf icon[1,123 KB], Image image icon[962 KB]

Infographic - Facial Hairstyles and Filtering Facepiece Respirators

Facial Hairstyles and Filtering Facepiece Respirators (2017)
PDF pdf icon[PDF 664 KB], Image image icon[186 KB]

Why are annual FIT TESTS required? infographic

Why are annual Fit Tests required? (2016)
PDFpdf iconpdf icon, Imageimage iconimage icon
Español – PDFpdf iconpdf icon, imagenimage iconimage icon


Proper N95 Respirator Use for Respiratory Protection Preparedness
When outbreaks of infectious disease occur, we rely on healthcare professionals to care for those affected, putting themselves at increased risk of exposure to the pathogen causing the disease.

To Beard or not to Beard? That’s a good Question! (2017)

New NIOSH Study Supports the OSHA Annual Fit Testing Requirements for Filtering Facepiece Respirators (2016)


Respiratory Fit Testingexternal icon (2012)

Journal Articles

Temporal changes in filtering facepiece respirator Fit
Zhuang, Z., M. Bergman, E. Brochu, A. Palmiero, G. Niezgoda, X. He, R. Roberge, and R.E. Shaffer
J Occup Environ Hyg 2016 Apr; 13(4):269-278

Correlation between respirator fit and respirator fit test panel cells by respirator size
Zhuang-ZQ; Groce-D; Ahlers-HW; Iskander-W; Landsittel-D; Guffey-S; Benson-S; Viscusi-D; Shaffer-RE
J Occup Environ Hyg 2008 Oct; 5(10):617-628

New respirator fit test panels representing the current US civilian work force
Zhuang, Z.Q., B. Bradtmiller, and R.E. Shaffer
J. Occup. Environ. Hyg. 4(9): 647-659 (2007)

Simulated workplace protection factors for half-facepiece respiratory protective devices
Duling-MG; Lawrence-RB; Slaven-JE; Coffey-CC
J Occup Environ Hyg 2007 Jun; 4(6):420-431

Evaluation of sampling probes for fit testing N95 filtering facepiece respirators
Bergman-MS; Viscusi-DJ; Zhuang-Z; Newcomb-WE
Ann Occup Hyg 2013 May; 57(4):507-518

Differences in Hospital Managers’, Unit Managers’, and Health Care Workers’ Perceptions of the Safety Climate for Respiratory Protection.
Peterson K, Roger B, Brosseau L ,Payne J, Cooney J, Joe L, & Novak D. (2016).
Workplace Health and Safety 64 (7), 326-336.

Hospital respiratory protection practices in 6 U.S. states: A public health evaluation study.
Peterson K, Novak D, Stradtman L, Wilson D, & Couzens L (2015).
AJIC 43(1),63-71.

Evaluation of Minnesota and Illinois hospital respiratory protection programs and health care worker respirator use.
Brosseau LM, Conroy LM, Sietsema M, Cline K, & Durski K. (2015).
JOEH 12(1), 1-15.

Comparing Written Programs and Self-Reported Respiratory Protection Practices in Acute Care Hospitals.
Sietsema M, Conroy LM, & Brosseau LM. (2015).
JOEH 12(3),189-198.

Respiratory protection policies and practices among the health care workforce exposed to influenza in New York State: Evaluating emergency preparedness for the next pandemic.
Hines L, Rees E, & Pavlechak N (2014).
AJIC 42(3), 240-45.

Page last reviewed: May 7, 2020