OSHA: Cloth Face Coverings Are Not PPE Under Agency Standard
Following publication of a scientific brief from CDC that concludes cloth masks provide some personal protection for wearers, OSHA concluded that not enough information is available to determine whether a particular cloth face covering provides sufficient protection from COVID-19 to be considered PPE under OSHA's standard. The agency’s guidance remains unchanged: OSHA does not consider cloth face coverings to be PPE and face coverings are not required under its PPE standard.
“OSHA's determination is consistent with statements made by the CDC, which has stated it needs more research on cloth facemasks' protective effects, particularly on the combination of materials that maximize blocking and filtering effectiveness,” OSHA states in a press release.
OSHA continues to “strongly encourage” workers to wear face coverings when they are in close contact with others.
View OSHA’s FAQs on face coverings. Information on cloth masks from CDC is available on the agency's website.