Are employees required to wear N95 respirators in Alaska?
The answer depends upon hazards in the workplace.
Each employer must assess respiratory hazards in the workplace and take steps necessary to protect employees. Per 29 CFR 1910.134(c)(1), if employees use any type of respirator that is required by the employer or necessary to protect their health a written Respiratory Protection Program is required.
Employers should consider the level of community transmission , CDC guidance , and industry best practices in their hazard assessments.
If employees voluntarily wear N95 respirators in the workplace, are employers required to create a written Respiratory Protection Program?
- Per 29 CFR 1910.134(c)(2)(ii), if employees use N95 respirators on a voluntary basis, a written Respiratory Protection Program is not required. However, employers are required to notify employees of Appendix D to 29 CFR 1910.134 information.
- Per 29 CFR 1910.134(c)(1), if employers require employees to use any type of respirator, a written Respiratory Protection Program is required.
Does AKOSH have a list of businesses who are certified to conduct Respirator Fit Testing?
AKOSH does not "endorse" and is prohibited from endorsing businesses. To find a business that conducts Fit Testing, research "Respirator Fit Testing" in your local area.
Are N95 respirators considered filtering facepiece respirators?
Yes. Per 29 CFR 1910.134(b), a filtering facepiece respirator is defined as a negative pressure particulate respirator with a filter as an integral part of the facepiece or with the entire facepiece composed of the filtering medium.
Are KN95 masks with ear loops regulated under OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard?
KN95 masks that are not approved by NIOSH do not fall under OSHA's Respiratory Protection standard.
Can employers allow employees to voluntarily wear N95 respirators?
Yes. However, employers must follow certain requirements. 29 CFR 1910.134 outlines what employers must do when allowing employees to voluntarily wear N95 respirators when otherwise not required.
What are employers required to do if employees voluntarily wear N95 respirators?
Per 29 CFR 1910.134(c)(2)(i), an employer must provide the N95 respirator user with information contained in Appendix D of 1910.134.
Does an employer have to fit test or medically evaluate employees who VOLUNTARILY wear N95 respirators (filtering facepiece respirators)?
No. The employer is not required to medically evaluate or fit test employees who voluntarily wear a N95 respirator.
For additional questions or concerns, contact Alaska' Occupational Safety and Health Consultation and Training at (907)269-4935 or email Ancorage.Lss-OSH@alaska.gov.