Updated: Jul 23, 2021
OSHA issued a couple of documents on November 10, 2020 that review the most recently cited standards related to COVID-19. The first document is a one pager that reviews the lessons learned and provides a high-level overview of the problems identified. The second document provides a more in depth look at the standards, the violations, and resources to provide education on the standard.
It is not surprising that the violations are mostly related to the respiratory protection standard and training. The respiratory protection standard covers many aspects, and it is easy for an employer to miss steps if they are unfamiliar with the standard. Health & Safety Professionals can provide in depth assistance to companies as they navigate reopening and are assessing PPE to protect their employees as they return to work.
A few tips include:
· Ensure understanding of the type of masks that are provided to employees and which ones might be considered a respirator.
· Know the differences between face coverings, surgical masks, and respirators.
· Be sure to review the requirements of both mandatory and voluntary respirator programs.
· Have a written program on file and ensure it meets the standards and the practices in each of your locations.
· Review your program and the practices in the locations on a frequent basis.
· Ensure that any accommodations are documented and meet the documented program.