RPE Selector

Health and Safety Executive

Selecting the right Respiratory Protective
Equipment (RPE) for the job

This is the RPE Selector Tool. By answering a few questions about the job, substance, and the wearer, this Tool will help you find the right RPE to protect you and your employees.

RPE used at work must be CE marked to confirm it has been designed to meet at least the minimum requirements laid out in law. However, employers are responsible for selecting the right RPE for their task, substance, work environment and the wearer. By answering a few questions about your work area, the hazardous substance and the task for which RPE is needed, this Tool will help you find the right RPE for your workers.

The Tool was jointly developed by the Health and Safety Executive, NHS Health Scotland and Healthy Working Lives (HWL) based on HSE’s RPE guidance HSG53.

To move from one step to another click the orange button at the bottom of the page.

Types of Respiratory Protective Equipment

Types of respirator

  • Disposable half mask respirator

    1. Disposable half mask respirator

  • Reusable half mask respirator

    2. Reusable half mask respirator

  • Full face mask respirator

    3. Full face mask respirator

  • Powered reusable full-face mask respirator

    4. Fan-powered reusable full-face mask respirator

  • Fan-powered reusable hood, helmet or visor respirator

    5. Fan-powered respirator with reusable hood, helmet or visor

Types of Breathing Apparatus (BA)

  • Unpowered fresh air breathing apparatus with full face mask (FABA)

    6. Unpowered fresh air hose breathing apparatus (FAHBA) with full face mask

  • Compressed airline half mask (CABA)

    7. Compressed airline breathing apparatus (CABA) with half mask

  • Compressed airline (CABA) or powered (FABA) with full face mask

    8. CABA or powered FAHBA with full face-mask

  • Compressed airline (CABA) or powered (FABA) with hood, helmet or visor

    9. CABA or powered FAHBA with hood, helmet or visor

  • Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or CABA with a demand valve

    10. Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or CABA with a demand valve full-face mask

  • These are the types of RPE most commonly used at work
  • The RPE you use may look slightly different depending on the manufacturer
Do you need more help?
Call the Healthy Working Lives advice line free on
0800 0192211