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NIOSH, OSHA offer toolkit on respiratory protection for health care workers

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Hospital Respiratory Program Toolkit

Photo: OSHA

Washington – A new toolkit from OSHA and NIOSH aims to help protect health care workers from transmissible diseases and other respiratory hazards.

The Hospital Respiratory Protection Program Toolkit, released May 15, addresses respirator use, public health guidance on using respirators during exposure to infectious diseases, and hazard assessments. It also provides links to additional resources, including templates and educational materials.

The Joint Commission also has developed a report on establishing respiratory protection programs. It explains possible obstacles; offers examples of strategies from health care institutions; and explores the role of leadership, improvement and evaluation.

OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard mandates that health care employers implement and uphold a respiratory protection program in environments where workers might be exposed to breathable hazards.