One of the biggest questions plaguing employers during the COVID-19 pandemic is whether or not to provide employees with respirators—the holy grail of all personal protective equipment (PPE) at this time. On March 11, 2020, the White House issued a Presidential Memorandum, entitled “Making General Use Respirators Available,” which mandated all necessary efforts by the government and public at large to make respiratory devices available for use by healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic to mitigate against further transmission of the virus. In response, OSHA has issued several forms of temporary enforcement guidance for the Respiratory Protection standard, as well as its April 13, 2020 Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and both the healthcare and general industries have scrambled to comply with this exacting standard in the face of extensive shortages.

For full coverage of OSHA’s guidance on respiratory protection during the COVID-19 pandemic, continue reading on our Employment Law Worldview Blog at this link.