As we know much of the country is requiring face coverings at the workplace and for customers, the U.S. Department of Labor has answered some frequently asked questions about face coverings, surgical masks and respirators in the workplace.

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has published a series of frequently asked questions and their answers focusing on the use of masks in the workplace on their website says a release from the DOL.

Among the frequently asked questions are differences between cloth face coverings, surgical masks and respirators. The new guidance also reminds employers not to use surgical masks or cloth face coverings when respirators are needed as well as noting the need for social distancing measures. A full list of guidelines being followed can be found here.

According to the release frequently asked questions and answers are the latest OSHA guidance addressing protective ware in the workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously the Department published numerous guidelines for workers, including five aimed at respirators, and they can be found on the OSHA website.

According to OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 requres employers to provide safe and healthy working conditions for employees, the Department’s role in this is to ensure conditions for the American workforce by setting and enforcing standards, providing training and educating and assisting.

For more information on the Department of Labor or OSHA visit their website.

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