OSHA recently provided employers an update on the proper use of N95 masks, including a new video, poster (in English and Spanish), and FAQ (which makes is clear that "an N95 respirator is effective in protecting workers from the virus that causes COVID-19).
The video and poster demonstrate and describe seven steps every worker should follow when putting on and taking off a respirator (which includes an N95).
- 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.