OSHA Updates FAQs On Face Coverings

Volume: 19 | Issue: 71
November 24, 2020

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has updated its COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions to address whether OSHA will consider face coverings to be “personal protective equipment” in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s recent determination that cloth face coverings may provide some personal protection to the wearer.

OSHA’s answer is: “Not at this time.” OSHA explains that, as the CDC noted, “additional research is needed to expand the evidence base for the protective effect of cloth masks and in particular to identify the combinations of materials that maximize both their blocking and filtering effectiveness.” As such, “at this time, OSHA does not think enough information is available to determine whether a particular cloth face covering provides sufficient protection from the hazard of COVID-19 to be personal protective equipment under OSHA’s standard (29 CFR 1910.132).”

OSHA continues to strongly encourage workers who do not wear PPE “to wear face coverings when in close contact with others to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus, if it is appropriate for the work environment.” Additionally, of course, face coverings are mandated in Nevada for all individuals pursuant to Emergency Directive 24 and Emergency Directive 35.

More information about the CDC’s determination on cloth face coverings can be found in its recent Scientific Brief.

KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.

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