The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, CAL/OSHA Title 8, Section 5144 and Section 5199 require that San Mateo County develop a respiratory protection plan to maintain a safe and healthy work environment. The plan has been developed to provide guidelines to employees to minimize the risk of occupational diseases caused by breathing air contaminated with harmful dusts, fogs, fumes, gases, smokes, sprays, or aerosols.

This respiratory protection plan focuses on source control, control of the environment, safe work practice habits and respiratory protection devices. When effective engineering or administrative controls are not feasible or practical, or in emergency situations, the use of personal respiratory equipment may be necessary to protect the health of the employee. An effective respiratory protection program is essential to assure that the personnel using such equipment are adequately protected.