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How to Get a Respirator

Learn how to request an air-filtering respirator.

COVID-19 Update

Voluntary use of N95 for Unvaccinated Employees: Unvaccinated campus employees who choose to wear N95-respirators on campus must follow these guidelines.

 

If respiratory protection is required for your work, you must enroll in the campus Respiratory Protection Program to become a certified respirator user. Certified means that you have been medically approved to use a respirator by UCSD COEM and have completed training and fit testing administered by EH&S. Certification must be renewed annually and is required before an employee may begin using the respirator.

If you are not required to wear a respirator but would like to wear one under voluntary use, follow the instructions on this page: Voluntary Use of N95-Respirators.

Follow the steps below to request a respirator:

1. Submit a Hazard Evaluation Form

EH&S will evaluate the type of materials you work with and current engineering controls of your workplace to determine the most effective and efficient means of respiratory protection for you.


Complete and submit the online Hazard Evaluation form to EH&S. You will receive a response within 5-business days. Do not proceed to Step 2 until you have been directed to do so by EH&S.

2. Medical Surveillance

EH&S will provide you with the required medical surveillance forms. Complete these forms and submit them to the campus Occupational Health Nurse for review by one of the following methods. Do not email the completed form. 

  • Campus mail in sealed envelope (Attn: Occupational Health Nurse, Mail Code 0090)
  • Drop box located outside 2nd floor entrance of the CRSF building (Central Research Services Facility)

The Occupational Health Nurse will review the form and email you a copy of your respirator medical clearance status. After you have been medically cleared to wear a respirator, EH&S will contact you to schedule your training and respirator fit test appointment.

3. Respirator Fit Testing and Training

EH&S will contact you to schedule respirator fit testing at the CRSF building. Please allow approximately 15-20 minutes for each fit test appointment and if applicable, arrive clean shaven so that there is no facial hair or stubble which may cross the sealing surface of the respirator.

When you satisfactorily pass your fit test, you and your supervisor will be informed regarding the make and model respirator you have been certified to use. Your department is responsible for providing these supplies to you.

During your appointment, you will receive training on:

  • Use and limitations of your respirator
  • How to properly fit and check the seal of your respirator
  • Cartridge use and change-out
  • How to recognize medical signs and symptoms which may limit or prevent the effective use of your respirator
  • Regulations governing respiratory protection in the workplace

4. Annual Recertification

EH&S will notify you and your supervisor when you are due for your annual recertification.

Communicate with your supervisor and EH&S should you experience any of the following while you use the respirator:

  • Health symptoms. Stop using the respirator, report the incident to your supervisor and submit an employee incident report form.
  • Changes in physical condition which may affect the respirator fit should be discussed with the campus Occupational Health Nurse (858) 534 – 8225 or ehs_ohn@ucsd.edu. Examples may include:
    • Facial scarring
    • Dental changes
    • Cosmetic surgery
    • Obvious or significant change in body weight
  • Changes with work process which necessitate the use of the respirator. Examples may include:
    • New products used
    • Increase in product quantity or frequency of use
    • Change in engineering controls or new location
  • Any other difficulties while using the respirator

5. What to do when you no longer need your respirator?

Notify EH&S at ehsih@ucsd.edu when you no longer require the use of the respirator so that we may update our records.

Questions? Contact EH&S Occupational Health & Hygiene Services at ehsih@ucsd.edu.