News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Offers New Video and Poster On Proper Workplace Use of Respirators

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor announced that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a new video and poster for employers and workers on how to properly wear and remove a respirator.

For workers who may need to use respirators to protect themselves from coronavirus exposure, a properly worn respirator can help reduce the wearer’s risk of viral exposure and help prevent its spread to others.

The video and poster – in English and Spanish – demonstrate and describe seven steps every worker should follow when putting on and taking off a respirator.

  1. Wash hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol before putting on and after removing the respirator;
  2. Inspect the respirator for damage;
  3. Cover mouth and nose with the respirator and pull strap over the head so that it rests at the back of the head. A second strap should rest at the back of the neck. Use the metal nose clips to mold the respirator to the shape of the nose;
  4. Adjust the respirator by placing both hands over it and inhaling and exhaling. Readjust the straps if air leaks from the respirator’s edges;
  5. Avoid touching the respirator while wearing it;
  6. Remove the respirator by grabbing the strap(s) from behind. Do not touch the front; and
  7. If the respirator does not need to be reused because of supply shortages, discard it in a closed-bin waste receptacle.

Visit OSHA’s Publications webpage for other useful workplace safety information.

The video and poster are the latest efforts by OSHA to educate and protect America’s workers and employers during the coronavirus pandemic. OSHA has also published Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, a document aimed at helping workers and employers learn about ways to protect themselves and their workplaces during the ongoing pandemic.

Visit OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage frequently for updates. For further information about coronavirus, please visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Agency
Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Date
May 5, 2020
Release Number
20-655-NAT
Contact: Department of Labor National Contact Center
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