Excerpt: from “OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19” p.14
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
While engineering and administrative controls are considered
more effective in minimizing exposure to SARS-CoV-2, PPE
may also be needed to prevent certain exposures. While
correctly using PPE can help prevent some exposures, it
should not take the place of other prevention strategies.
Examples of PPE include: gloves, goggles, face shields, face
masks, and respiratory protection, when appropriate. During
an outbreak of an infectious disease, such as COVID-19,
recommendations for PPE specific to occupations or job tasks
may change depending on geographic location, updated
risk assessments for workers, and information on PPE
effectiveness in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Employers
should check the OSHA and CDC websites regularly for
updates about recommended PPE.
All types of PPE must be:
■ Selected based upon the hazard to the worker.
■ Properly fitted and periodically refitted, as applicable
GUIDANCE ON PREPARING WORKPLACES FOR COVID-19
■ Consistently and properly worn when required.
■ Regularly inspected, maintained, and replaced,
■ Properly removed, cleaned, and stored or disposed of,
as applicable, to avoid contamination of self, others, or
Employers are obligated to provide their workers with PPE
needed to keep them safe while performing their jobs. The
types of PPE required during a COVID-19 outbreak will be
based on the risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2 while
working and job tasks that may lead to exposure.
Workers, including those who work within 6 feet of patients
known to be, or suspected of being, infected with SARS-CoV-2
and those performing aerosol-generating procedures, need to
■ National Institute for Occupational Safety and
Health (NIOSH)-approved, N95 filtering facepiece
respirators or better must be used in the context of a
comprehensive, written respiratory protection program
that includes fit-testing, training, and medical exams.
See OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard, 29 CFR
1910.134 at www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/
■ When disposable N95 filtering facepiece respirators are
not available, consider using other respirators that provide
greater protection and improve worker comfort. Other
types of acceptable respirators include: a R/P95, N/R/P99,
or N/R/P100 filtering facepiece respirator; an air-purifying
elastomeric (e.g., half-face or full-face) respirator with
appropriate filters or cartridges; powered air purifying
respirator (PAPR) with high-efficiency particulate arrestance
(HEPA) filter; or supplied air respirator (SAR). See CDC/
NIOSH guidance for optimizing respirator supplies at: