The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a popular and timely new video for employers and workers on how to properly wear and remove a respirator in seven steps.
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 also help prevent its spread to others.
The video and poster (below) are the latest efforts by OSHA to educate and protect America’s workers and employers during the coronavirus pandemic. There are currently over 80,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the US, and 1.4 million confirmed cases (get the latest data).
Correctly putting on and taking off a respirator
Seven steps every worker should follow when putting on and taking off a respirator
- 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;
- Inspect the respirator for damage;
- 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;
- Adjust the respirator by placing both hands over it and inhaling and exhaling. Readjust the straps if air leaks from the respirator’s edges;
- Avoid touching the respirator while wearing it;
- Remove the respirator by grabbing the strap(s) from behind. Do not touch the front; and
- If the respirator does not need to be reused because of supply shortages, discard it in a closed-bin waste receptacle.