Respiratory Protection

Respiratory protection is an essential aspect of occupational health and safety and is often achieved by the use of respirators.  Respirators come in a variety of shapes and sizes from disposable face masks to full-face respirators and can be outfitted with various filters to filter out particulates or gases.

Due to different shapes and sizes of respirators coupled with the individual’s unique facial features, a fit-test is required to ensure proper sealing of the respirator to the user’s face.

When to Use a Respirator

Only use a respirator for protection against airborne contaminants when there are no other hazard control methods available (such as eliminating exposure to the hazard, or using a fume hood). Respirators should never be the primary choice for hazard control.

Individuals can be exposed to an array of airborne hazards in their workplace that can lead to occupational respiratory diseases. Examples of airborne hazards can be found below:

Register For a Respirator Fit Test

Where respiratory protection is required for your work/job tasks, the UBC Okanagan Health, Safety and Environment office is pleased to offer respirator fit testing to UBC Okanagan staff free of charge.

Respirator fit testing ensures the respirator is a good fit for your facial structure. Respirator fit testing is required prior to the first use of your respirator and annually thereafter, as outlined by WorkSafeBC regulations. Annual retesting is mandatory as facial features can change over time, affecting the seal of the respirator. Both half-face and full-face fit-testing is available.

To register for a fit test:

  1. Complete the Respirator User Forms and email to
  2. Complete the Respirator Fit Testing Course and sign up for a fit test appointment (within the course)