A few weeks ago, I did an inital post about how the new OSHA guidance on masks only served to complicate efforts for employers to comply with any such rules.

This week, my colleague Alfredo Fernandez (with only a little help from me — byline notwithstanding) posted a more thorough post on the ins and outs of masks, face coverings and personal protective equipment.

You can read the entire post here. 

Here’s a sneak peek:

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued guidance to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the proper use of cloth face masks “at work” during the COVID-19 pandemic. The OSHA guidance must be read in conjunction with any applicable state rules and orders, many of which currently mandate that employees wear a face covering with limited exceptions.

Because face masks are an essential defense against the spread of COVID-19, understanding your employees’ respiratory health risks and establishing the right face mask protocol for your company are key factors in reopening and gradually returning the workforce to pre-pandemic levels.

In its FAQs, OSHA explains the differences among cloth face coverings, surgical masks (loose-fitting, fluid resistant barriers), and respirators (tight-fitting, particle filtering barriers). The following summary clarifies the variety of protective equipment that employees may use, along with its benefits and limitations.

You can find all of the pandemic-related guidance and articles from my firm here.