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Occupational Health Branch

Respirator Use in Health Care Workplaces

Health care workers in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, clinics, and physician offices can be exposed to serious infectious diseases such as influenza, tuberculosis, measles and meningitis. Staff in health care workplaces must be trained and equipped to protect themselves and prevent the spread of these diseases. Our health care community must also be prepared to protect workers whenever a novel pathogen emerges, such as the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Respiratory protection is one important component of an effective infection control program. Respirators for protection against infectious diseases must be used effectively and in compliance with the Cal/OSHA Respiratory Protection and Aerosol Transmissible Disease (ATD) Standards. OHB has worked with the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, hospitals and other health care partners to help implement effective infection control and respiratory protection programs to protect both workers and the public.

Publications & Reports

Respirator Program Toolkit for Hospitals Guide and resources for effective respirator use

Hospital Respirator Use During H1N1 Journal article abstract

Related Links & Resources

Respiratory protection resources - general

Respiratory protection resources - health care

Cal/OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard

Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Disease Standards

Cal/OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus

Respiratory protection in the workplace

Related Health Information

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Influenza (Flu)


Meningococcal Disease

Tuberculosis (TB)

Varicella (Chickenpox)

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