OSHA recently provided a simple step-by-step process overview of the proper way to wear a respirator. Below is the overview. You can find more information on how to keep your workplace safe at OSHA.gov
Following these simple steps will help you properly put on and take off your respirator and keep you and everyone else safe.
- Wash Your Hands – with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% alcohol
- Inspect the Respirator – If it appears damaged or damp, do not use it.
- Put on the Respirator – Cup the respirator in your hand with the nosepiece at your fingertips and the straps hanging below your hand. Cover your mouth and nose with the respirator and make sure there are no gaps (e.g., facial hair, hair, and glasses) between your face and the respirator. Place the strap over your head and rest at the top back of your head. If you have a second strap, place the bottom strap around your neck and below your ears. Do not crisscross straps. If your respirator has a metal nose clip, use your fingertips from both hands to mold the nose area to the shape of your nose.
- Adjust the Respirator – Place both hands over the respirator. Inhale quickly and then exhale. If you feel leakage from the nose, readjust the nosepiece; if leakage from the respirator edges, readjust the straps. Repeat until you get a proper seal. If you can’t get a proper seal, try another respirator.
- Wear the Respirator – Avoid touching the respirator while wearing
- Remove the Respirator – Wash your hands and remove from the back without touching the front
- Dispose of the Respirator – If the respirator does not need to be reused because of supply shortages, discard it in a closed-bin waste receptacle. Wash your hands
Download the Seven Steps to Correctly Wear a Respirator at Work poster here
OSHA has also provided an instructional video: