Environmental, Health and Safety Services

Respiratory Protection Introduction


The purpose of the Virginia Tech Respiratory Protection Program is to ensure the health and safety of all University employees and students who have the potential to be exposed to hazardous airborne contaminants or oxygen deficient atmospheres that may cause injury or illness to the person during the course of their employment or research at Virginia Tech. Our primary goal is to minimize personal exposure to known hazards through implementation of engineering controls (i.e., local exhaust ventilation, material substitution) and administrative controls (i.e., modification of work practices and procedures). Respiratory protection and other necessary personal protective equipment must be used when these controls are not feasible, are in the process of being implemented, or do not control the atmospheric concentrations of the contaminant below PELs. When respirators are used as specified, they can prevent fatalities and illnesses from both acute and chronic exposure to hazardous substances. The implementation of this Respiratory Protection Program fulfills the requirements of the State of Virginia Administrative Code, 16 VAC 25-60-120 and compliance with the provisions set forth in OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134.

Scope and Application

This program applies to all work performed by Virginia Tech employees where respiratory protection is used regardless of worksite location. Contractors performing work on campus shall comply with Safety Requirements for Contractors and Subcontractors. In addition, any employee who chooses to wear a tight-fitting respirator when a respirator is not required (e.g., a voluntary user), is subject to the medical evaluation, cleaning, maintenance, and storage elements of this program.


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