U.S. Department of Labor Issues Temporary Enforcement Guidance for Respirator Fit-Testing in Healthcare during COVID-19 Outbreak
OSHA has issued new temporary guidance regarding the enforcement of OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard. This guidance is aimed at ensuring healthcare workers have full access to needed N95 respiratory protection in light of anticipated shortages.
OSHA recommends that employers supply healthcare personnel who provide direct care to patients with known or suspected coronavirus with other respirators that provide equal or higher protection, such as N99 or N100 filtering facepieces, reusable elastomeric respirators with appropriate filters or cartridges, or powered air purifying respirators.
This temporary enforcement guidance recommends that healthcare employers change from a quantitative fit testing method to a qualitative testing method to preserve integrity of N95 respirators.
Prevent Worker Exposure to Coronavirus (COVID-19)