OSHA Releases COVID-19 Respiratory Protection Guidance for Long Term Care Employees

COVID-19

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a new resource: Respiratory Protection Guidance for the Employers of Those Working in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Other Long Term Care Facilities during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In this resource, OSHA reviews requirements around PPE and includes the key elements of the respiratory protection program. The resource includes temporary enforcement discretion related to the respiratory protection standard during COVID-19. Guidance clearly states that for OSHA to exercise enforcement discretion, “employers must demonstrate and document good-faith efforts to comply with OSHA standards.” This includes documenting all attempts to procure required PPE. AHCA/NCAL’s consultants with Littler Mendelson have developed a template respiratory protection program that can be tailored to your organization’s needs. 

Additional OSHA guidance on reporting employee cases of COVID-19 and steps to take when PPE is critically low, including N-95 respirators, can be found on the AHCA/NCAL COVID-19 resource website. Providers can also find updated OSHA guidance on COVID-19 on OSHA’s COVID-19 website.