Respirator Policy

VTH Policy #Bio413

Implementation Date: 6/1/2018 

Date of Last Revision: 3/9/2021

Next Review Due: 3/2024


Reviewed by VTH Administrative Team: N/A

Reviewed by VTH Board: N/A


Reviewed by Legal Counsel: N/A

Reviewed by Biosecurity Subcommittee: 3/9/2021

Subject to modification by the Biosecurity Subcommittee of the CVM Occupational Health and Safety Committee without approval.

Printable PDF: Respirator Policy


  1. The University of Illinois and the Division of Safety and Compliance has established a Respiratory Protection Program to protect the health of university students, faculty and staff and to assure compliance with State and Federal occupational safety and health standards. 
  2. See for the program in its entirety. 


The Respiratory Protection Program shall apply to all students, faculty and staff whether the respirator is required to protect the health of an individual or worn voluntarily for comfort or personal reasons.

Medical Evaluations will occur according to the following:

  1. Before the initial fit-testing and before the respirator is used for the first time.
  2. At the frequency required by OSHA substance-specific standards.
  3. If the initial medical evaluation demonstrates the need for a follow-up medical examination.
  4. Whenever a respirator user reports medical signs or symptoms that are related to the ability to use a respirator.
  5. Reevaluation is required every 3 years thereafter.

Training will occur:

  1. Before the required use of a respirator.
  2. Annually

Fit-Testing will occur:

  1. Only after the respirator wearer has received clearance from a physician.
  2.  Before the required use of a respirator
  3. Annually
  4. Any time the brand / model of the respirator is changed

Procedure (if applicable)

The following procedure must be followed in order to request and use a respirator.

  1. Employees of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital should contact the college’s Biosecurity and Safety office ( in order to get the process started.
  2. Medical evaluations and respirator training will be sent to individuals electronically. Medical evaluations are required every three years unless there has been a change in health status or work conditions. Respirator training and fit-testing are required annually.
  3. Once the medical evaluation is completed by a physician and states that the individual can safely wear a respirator, and online training is completed, fit-testing may be scheduled. The college’s Biosecurity and Safety office will provide the fit-testing for N95 masks. Half masks and full-face respirators are fit-tested by Safety & Compliance on campus.
      3.1. Fit-tests are to a specific mask, only the mask(s) identified at the current fit-test can be used during the following 12 months.
      3.2. Half or full-face mask respirators will be identified by Safety & Compliance. It will be up to the user to have the respirator and           associated cartridges ordered and billed to the appropriate service.
  4. The respirator may no longer be used once the medical evaluation or annual training and fit testing expire.
  5. If the device is needed again after the expiration of the medical evaluation, training or fit-testing, the process starts over.
  6. Although the requirements for respirator use are the same (medical evaluation, training, fit-testing), student respirator requests are handled by Academic Student Affairs. Please contact them for the student procedure.

Definitions (if applicable)

Fit-test - means the use of a protocol to qualitatively or quantitatively evaluate the fit of a respirator on an individual.

Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH): The collective clinical services of the Large Animal Clinic, Midwest Equine, the Small Animal Clinic, and the Veterinary Medicine South Clinic.


KeywordsRespiratory, fit test, OSHA, Medical, evaluation, standard, Division, safety, annual, expire, physician, N95, mask, compliance, training   Doc ID123971
OwnerJenny C.GroupUofI College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
Created2023-02-09 15:47 CSTUpdated2023-10-09 12:01 CST
SitesUniversity of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
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