Physician Practice

Breathing easy: What you need to know about respiratory protection

Medical Environment Update, March 13, 2020

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Medical Environment Update.

Editor’s note: In this guest column, Dan Scungio, MT(ASCP), SLS, laboratory safety officer for multihospital system Sentara Healthcare in Virginia, and otherwise known as “Dan, the Lab Safety Man,” discusses the important issues that affect your job every day.

In the peak of the flu season, you might see many people wearing masks. Do those masks protect them? Do they protect you? Are they considered respirators? These questions are important, but there are other questions you should ask about respiratory protection, especially if you work in a lab or clinic setting.

OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard (1910.134) provides information about requirements for staff who may potentially be exposed to airborne pathogens. These requirements include specific instructions for choosing the proper respirator, for providing fit testing, and for user training. The College of American Pathologists also expects labs to determine the risk of airborne pathogen exposure for each employee, and they require labs to have a plan that outlines engineering and work practice controls that reduce exposure potential.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Medical Environment Update.

Most Popular