Skip to main content

Respiratory Protection

Different types of respirators

The Cornell University Respiratory Protection Program is intended to outline the correct use of respiratory protection by employees and students who could be exposed to hazardous substances or atmospheres. This program is in compliance with The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134).

Whenever possible, respiratory exposures will be controlled by implementing engineering, work practice, and administrative controls.  Respiratory protection will be provided to employees and students to be utilized when it has been determined that engineering, work practice, and administrative controls are not feasible and or do not provide sufficient protection.

Respiratory Hazards may include:

  • Harmful dusts (lead, silica, and other heavy metals)
  • Fumes and smokes (welding fume)
  • Gases and vapors (chemical exposures)
  • Biological hazards (tuberculosis, whooping cough, flu viruses)

Respiratory Protection and the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 is a respiratory hazard. Front-line medical providers, emergency responders and researchers in contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus should use a particulate filtering respirator to protect themselves. If you are an employee of Cornell University and believe that you need a respirator for such a scenario, please fill out a Respirator Request Form found below to begin the review process by EHS. 

If you are seeking an N95 respirator as an ADA workplace accommodation, please contact the Medical Leaves Administration in Human Resources at The use of an N95 as an ADA workplace accommodation shall only be used by employees in positions that are deemed to not have occupational exposure to respiratory hazards. 

Written Program/Manuals

PDF file Respiratory Protection Program Requires Login


PDF file HS12_F001_Respirator Request Requires Login

Training Resources


PDF file Remote Facility Medical Clearance Requires Login
PDF file Respirator Program Enrollment Requires Login

Toolbox Talk

PDF file N95 Respiratory Protection Toolbox Talk Requires Login
PDF file Respiratory Protection Toolbox Talk Requires Login