Breathe Freely
New Zealand Occupational Hygiene Society Chartered Society for Work Health Protection
New Zealand Occupational Hygiene Society and The Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection


Respiratory protective equipment (RPE) may be needed to protect workers from exposure to airborne contaminates. However, it should only be used after all other reasonably practicable measures to prevent or control exposure have been considered. In the hierarchy of control under the Regulations, RPE is the last line of protection. RPE can only protect the wearer, and if it is inadequate, unsuitable, used incorrectly, or poorly maintained, it is unlikely to provide the required protection.

RPE Guidance Downloads

Below are five pdf downloads that cover the main areas of RPE Guidance for workers. Download a specific information sheet or download all sheets together.
1. Selection and procurement

You need to select the right type of RPE for the risk. Choose a type that has a sufficient level of performance to reduce exposure to an acceptable level.

4. Maintenance, examination and testing

RPE should be regularly checked, cleaned and maintained by properly trained personnel in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. All RPE – whether brand new, disposable or well-maintained reusable and should be checked for any signs of damage or wear prior to use.

Proper storage of reusable RPE is essential.

2. Training

Those who will have to use the RPE, their supervisors and any other staff directly involved should receive information, instruction & training.

5. Fit testing

As our faces come in all shapes and sizes, each wearer needs to be supplied with a face mask which fits them properly. Fit testing is a method which demonstrates how well a face mask fits an individual wearer’s face.

3. Management programme

Including supervision and enforcement.

Download all resources

Download this information as one containing all 5 guidance files as pdf files ideal for printing and sharing.