OSHA issues interim guidance for worker reuse of masks
If you are authorizing the decontamination and reuse of N95 or other protective face masks for healthcare personnel in the face of supply shortages, ensure you are updating your respiratory protections policies, training your personnel, and documenting the evidence-based criteria you are using to reuse the masks.
Just as it did with fit-testing requirements for filtering facepiece respirators (FFR), OSHA is telling it inspectors to review “good-faith efforts” made by employers in decontaminating and reusing the masks when supplies are short.
In absence of those efforts, however, employers could receive citations under the “serious violation” category. Depending on the gravity of the hazard, a citation means civil penalties between $964 and $13,494 per violation.
The April 24 memo for administrators of federal and state OSHA regulations outlines acceptable methods of decontaminating the FFRs and what inspectors should take into consideration when investigating violations of the federal Respiratory Protection standard.