Respirator Mask Clearance and Fitting

Many employees working at Michigan Medicine and on campus are required to wear the appropriate respirator protection to complete their work.  Prior to an employee using respirator protection, they must be medically cleared, fit and trained on proper use.  Employees must not be assigned tasks requiring the use of a respirator until they have successfully completed the following steps:

  1. Obtain medical clearance from Occupational Health Services
    • OHS manages this for both Michigan Medicine and designated campus employees
  2. Be successfully fit tested (N95) or trained and educated on the Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR)
    • OHS completes fit testing and PAPR training for only Michigan Medicine employees and designated campus employees.
    • The majority of campus employees will be tested and/or trained by EHS.
  3. Staff working in high risk areas may be required to complete additional medical clearance, testing and/or training. Check with your supervisor for further details.

Employees are enrolled in the respirator protection program based on the needs and requirements of the department they work.  Once an employee is enrolled in the respirator protection program, they will receive an email reminder from the OHS system informing the employee they are due for the annual respirator protection medical clearance, testing and training.  The email communication will outline instructions on how to complete all requirements to become compliant, where fit testing is offered, associated hours of operation at each fit testing location and if the fit testing location requires an appointment or is a walk-in clinic.

Please refer to the Michigan Medicine Respiratory Protection Policy and Procedure, 05-01-003 for additional details. 

Respirator training is completed for new employees once upon hire and annually thereafter through an instructor-led course.  There are many different types of respirators available.  The primary respiratory used at Michigan Medicine is the N95 respirator mask.  Employees unable to utilize the N95, or, are unable to be fit for the N95 will be trained on how to use a PAPR device. 

Fit testing for the N-95 is done on an annual basis, however, if employees have radical changes in facial structure from weight loss or gain, dental changes, facial scarring, facial surgery, or other conditions which interfere with the seal of the face piece they will need to return to OHS to be re-tested.  This ensures employees have a good fit at all times.  Please see MiOSHA (Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Part 451 or Michigan Medicine Respiratory Protection Policy and Procedure, 05-01-003 for additional information. 

If you have questions regarding fit testing or if you need to be enrolled in the respiratory compliance program, please contact and provide your name and UMID number.

When you arrive for your fit testing appointment, please be prepared based on the following information:

  • All required paperwork should be completed prior to your visit at OHS. 
  • Do not eat or drink anything 15 minutes prior to the test. The fit testing process takes approximately 20 minutes, but may take longer depending on the medical clearance and other factors.
  • If an employee cannot be successfully fit tested with the N-95, they will be trained on PAPR use.  Some reasons an employee may not be able to be fit with the N95 include: facial hair, body composition changes, dental changes, etc.  Employees unable to be N95 tested will receive PAPR training. 
  • Staff must bring their UMID to their appointment.