InTents October/November 2020 - 42

business | safety

Face coverings in
the workplace
Follow these face mask recommendations by OSHA and the CDC
to ensure workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
o reduce the spread of COVID-19,
the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) recommends that
people wear masks in public settings,
especially when social distancing
measures are difϐicult to maintain.
While a mask might not protect the
wearer, it may keep the wearer from
spreading the virus to others.
In response to the ongoing COVID-19
pandemic, the U.S. Department of
Labor's Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) has released
a series of frequently asked questions
and answers regarding the use of masks
in the workplace.

T
Homemade mask recommendations
The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) recommends that
masks be worn in public settings,
especially when social distancing
measures are difficult to maintain.
Simple masks can be made at home
using washable, breathable fabric.
Make sure your mask:
* includes at least two layers of fabric
* completely covers the nose
and mouth
* is secured with ties or ear loops
* allows for breathing without restriction
* fits snugly but comfortably against
the side of the face.

42 intents

1020IT_p38_CV4.indd 42

What are the key differences
between surgical masks, respirators
and cloth face coverings?
Surgical masks are used to protect
workers against splashes and sprays
that contain infectious materials. They
are considered personal protective
equipment (PPE) but will not protect the
wearer against airborne transmissible
infectious agents due to their loose ϐit
and lack of seal or inadequate ϐiltration.
Surgical masks are not intended to be
used more than once.
Respirators, such as N95 respirators,
prevent workers from inhaling small
particles, including airborne transmissible
or aerosolized infectious agents. Designed
to achieve a very close facial ϐit, their edges
form a seal around the nose and mouth.
Respirators require proper ϐilter material

as well as proper training, ϐit testing,
cleaning and oversight.
Cloth face covering, such as scarves,
bandanas, and items made from t-shirts
or other fabrics, can be produced
commercially or improvised/made at
home. Currently recommended by the
CDC to reduce the spread of COVID-19,
cloth face coverings are worn in public
over the nose and mouth to contain the
wearer's potentially infectious respiratory
droplets produced when an infected
person talks, sneezes or coughs. Cloth face
coverings are not considered PPE and are
not appropriate substitutes for respirators
or surgical face masks. In addition, cloth
face coverings may be disposable or
reusable after proper washing.
Are employers required to provide
cloth face coverings to workers?
According to OSHA, face coverings
are not considered PPE and are not
intended to be used when workers need
PPE for protection against exposure
to occupational hazards. OSHA's PPE
standards do not require employers
to provide cloth face coverings. The
General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1)
of the Occupational Safety and Health
Act, requires each employer to furnish
to each of its employees a workplace
free from recognized hazards that cause
or are likely to cause death or serious
physical harm. Control measures may
include a combination of engineering
and administrative controls, safe work

oct-nov 2020

9/17/20 9:21 AM



InTents October/November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents October/November 2020

InTents October/November 2020 - Cover1
InTents October/November 2020 - Cover2
InTents October/November 2020 - 1
InTents October/November 2020 - 2
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