If you’ve been uncertain about the value of using N95 respirators to slow the spread of the coronavirus among your staffers, you’ll be pleased to hear about a recently issued OSHA document expressing support for the use of this type of respirator.
In a section just added to its frequently asked questions on COVID-19, OSHA said it’s aware of inaccurate claims that N95 respirators don’t capture particles as small as the coronavirus. But the agency said N95 respirators provide effective protection from the coronavirus.
Here’s why: When an infected person expels the coronavirus into the air by coughing, talking, or sneezing, the particles that become airborne consist of more than just the virus; they also include water and mucus. These larger particles are easily targeted and filtered out by an N95 respirator because they’re too big to pass through the filter.
Furthermore, according to the OSHA document, N95 respirators are effective at removing particles as small as 0.3 microns because these small particles are so light that they stick to the filter.
(From the Nov. 2, 2020, issue of Safety Alert for Supervisors. To download the current issue of the publication right now, please click here.)