Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

OSHA Frequently Asked Questions on Masks and Respirators

Jun 16, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a series of frequently asked questions and answers regarding the use of masks in the workplace.

The new guidance outlines the differences between cloth face coverings, surgical masks and respirators. It further reminds employers not to use surgical masks or cloth face coverings when respirators are needed. In addition, the guidance notes the need for social distancing measures, even when workers are wearing cloth face coverings, and recommends following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidance on washing face coverings.  The questions include:

Q - What are the key differences between cloth face coverings, surgical masks, and respirators?
Q - Are employers required to provide cloth face coverings to workers?
Q - 
Are surgical masks or cloth face coverings acceptable respiratory protection in the construction industry, when respirators would be needed but are not available because of the COVID-19 pandemic?