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Jan. 8, 2010
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

New OSHA videos provide respirator and facemask safety guidance

WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has developed two new videos for healthcare workers that feature training and guidance on respirator safety.

OSHA's "Respirator Safety" video demonstrates how to correctly put on and take off common types of respirators, such as N95s. "The Difference between Respirators and Surgical Masks" video explains how they prevent exposure to infectious diseases.

"Respirators play an important role in protecting many workers from exposure to chemical and biological hazards in the workplace," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels. "At a time when pandemic influenza has highlighted the risk to healthcare workers, these videos will prepare and protect workers from the very illnesses they are responsible for treating."

The videos also explain how workers can perform a user seal check to test whether a respirator is worn properly and will provide the expected level of protection. Viewers may watch both English and Spanish versions by visiting OSHA's Respiratory Protection page or the Department of Labor's YouTube site.

According to OSHA's respiratory protection standard 29 CFR 1910.134, respirators must be used as part of a comprehensive respiratory protection plan.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.


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