Quick Facts About Respirators

  • A respirator is a form of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that protects the wearer from breathing in harmful particles like gases, dusts, and germs.
  • Cloth face coverings are not respirators, but may be used for source control.
  • According to OSHA Standard 1910.134 - Respiratory Protection, employers need to provide respirators to employees who are exposed to respiratory hazards while at work.
  • Examples of work settings that may require respiratory protection include laboratories, manufacturing industries, and health care facilities.
  • Employees should use tight-fitting respirators only after a medical evaluation, fit testing, and educational training have been provided.

Protecting Against Respiratory Viruses in Health Care Settings

Health care facilities (such as long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics, etc.) in Iowa can use the resources below to develop a Respiratory Protection Program and provide training and fit testing for employees who need to wear tight-fitting respirators. As the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services is not a regulatory agency, these resources should be used as guidance and for educational purposes. Questions regarding compliance or regulatory issues should be directed to the appropriate regulatory authority for that specific setting.

Getting Started

A Guide to Developing a Respiratory Protection Program in Iowa

Before writing your Respiratory Protection Program, use these guidelines to assess the needs of your workplace, select the best suited respirators, and plan your logistics.

Respiratory Protection Program Template

Customize your written Respiratory Protection Program, including OSHA’s Medical Questionnaire and other helpful forms, using this template as a guide.

Email templates for Respiratory Protection Program notifications

Use these email templates to design your communication efforts and prepare for common situations in which to notify employees about your Respiratory Protection Program.

Medical Evaluation and Respirator Fit Testing Providers in Iowa

Find providers in Iowa that offer medical evaluations for employees and fit testing for facilities that are unable to provide these services.

Getting Trained

Respirator Training for Health Care Workers in Iowa PowerPoint Slides

Use these PowerPoint slides to guide and customize the training you provide to health care workers wearing tight-fitting respirators. A PDF version of the slides and PDF version of the slides with a sample speaker script included are available. Download the PDF of the slides and convert it to a PowerPoint file to modify the template or request a PowerPoint version of the template by emailing hai-ar@idph.iowa.gov

Respirator Training Outline and Active Learning Worksheet Template

Use this template to customize and facilitate respirator training for health care workers wearing tight-fitting respirators.

Qualitative Fit Testing Webinar

Watch this video to better understand how to create a Respiratory Protection Program and educate employees about respirators. Click the link above to find this video with titled chapters that provides the option to split chapters.

This video is a shorter version of an original webinar created by Robert Vercellino, MSOH, CIH, CSP and Kelli Rush, MPH and produced by WisCon and the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene.

Getting Fit Tested

How to Prepare for Your Qualitative Fit Test

Give this short handout to employees so they can be prepared for their qualitative fit test and know what to expect.

Additional Resources

Fit Testing Videos

For Employers

For Employees

For Agricultural Workers

General Resources

Health Care Resources

Iowa Resources