Friday, May 15, 2015

New Toolkit Aims to Better Protect Hospital Workers From Respiratory Hazards

OSHA and NIOSH have developed a new toolkit to assist hospitals in developing and implementing effective respiratory protection programs to protect hospital staff from the transmission of aerosol transmissible diseases (ATD) and other respiratory hazards.

The Hospital Respiratory Protection Toolkit details the importance of respirator use and identifies existing public health guidance on respirator use during exposure to infectious diseases.

Many healthcare professionals are at risk for exposure to ATD pathogens, to help employers reduce these risks OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard, requires that healthcare employers establish and maintain a respiratory protection program in workplaces where workers may be exposed to respiratory hazards. Appendix D of this toolkit provides users with an editable document that can be customized to meet the specific needs of a hospital.

To supplement the toolkit and assist hospitals in implementing respiratory protection programs, The Joint Commission developed Implementing Hospital Respiratory Protection Programs: Strategies from the Field. The document, produced in collaboration with NIOSH’s National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, identifies common challenges, provides specific examples and examines the role of leadership, quality improvement, fit testing and training challenges, and program evaluation.

For more information, visit