Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a highly contagious RNA virus termed as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Ophthalmologists are at high-risk due to their proximity and short working distance at the time of slit-lamp examination. Eye care professionals can be caught unaware because conjunctivitis may be one of the first signs of COVID-19 at presentation, even precluding the emergence of additional symptoms such as dry cough and anosmia. Breath and eye shields as well as N95 masks, should be worn while examining patients with fever, breathlessness, or any history of international travel or travel from any hotspot besides maintaining hand hygiene. All elective surgeries need to be deferred. Adults or children with sudden-onset painful or painless visual loss, or sudden-onset squint, or sudden-onset floaters or severe lid oedema need a referral for urgent care. Patients should be told to discontinue contact lens wear if they have any symptoms of COVID-19. Cornea retrieval should be avoided in confirmed cases and suspects, and long-term preservation medium for storage of corneas should be encouraged. Retinal screening is unnecessary for coronavirus patients taking chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine as the probability of toxic damage to the retina is less due to short-duration of drug therapy. Tele-ophthalmology and artificial intelligence should be preferred for increasing doctor-patient interaction.
Subject(s)Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Occupational Health/standards , Ophthalmology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , COVID-19 , Conjunctivitis/virology , Corneal Transplantation , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Humans , Ophthalmology/methods , Personal Protective Equipment , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Risk Factors , Tears/virology , Telemedicine , Tissue and Organ Procurement/standards
OBJECTIVES: The California Healthy Nail Salon Recognition Program is a statewide initiative to incentivize nail salons to adopt occupational health and safety best practices such as the use of safer nail products without certain harmful chemicals, ventilation systems upgrade, proper personal protective equipment use, and staff training. This public policy intervention is in response to the call to protect nail care workers, mostly women of color, who bear a disproportionate burden of chemical exposure at work. Because there is an interest to adopt a similar program in the Greater Philadelphia region, we conducted this formative research to document stakeholders' perspectives on the feasibility of adopting a Healthy Nail Salon Recognition Program in Philadelphia. METHODS: We conducted semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of 31 stakeholders in Philadelphia in 2021. Using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Science as our theoretical framework, we developed the interview guide and analysed the data using qualitative research methods to identify key facilitators and barriers. RESULTS: Key facilitating themes were perceived need and benefits of program to improve workers' health and working conditions, and willingness of stakeholders to leverage their organizational resources. Barriers included perceived high cost and time commitment from salon owners and employees, lack of funding and implementation leaders at the city government, community members' willingness to be visible and advocate for the program affected by the stigmas of being immigrant workers, and fear of interacting with authorities, as well as the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest successful adoption of a Healthy Nail Salon Recognition Program in Philadelphia will require outreach within the community to raise awareness of the benefits of the program and close partnership with community-based organizations to facilitate mutual understanding between the authorities and the ethnically diverse nail salon communities.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Occupational Exposure , Humans , Female , Male , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Occupational Exposure/analysis , Philadelphia , Feasibility Studies , Pandemics , Beauty Culture , Qualitative Research
Inexpensive cloth masks are widely used to reduce particulate exposures, but their use became ubiquitous after the outbreak of COVID-19. A custom experimental setup (semiactive at 5.1 m/s airflow rate) was fabricated to examine the efficiency of different types of commercial facemasks collected randomly from street vendors. The sample (N = 27) including (n = 16) cloth masks (CMs), (n = 7) surgical masks (SMs), and (n = 4) N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs), of which SMs and N95 FFRs taken as a standard for efficiency comparison were all tested against ambient aerosols (PM2.5 and PM10 µg/m3). The prototype cloth masks (PTCMs) (N = 5) design was tailored, and their performance was assessed and compared with that of standard commercial masks. The filtering efficiency tested against ambient coarse particulates (PM10) ranged from (5% to 34%) for CMs with an average of 16%, (37% to 46%) for SMs with an average of 42%, (59% to 72%) for PTCMs with an average of 65%, and (70% to 75%) for N95 FFRs with an average of 71%, whereas against fine particulates (PM2.5), efficacy ranged from (4% to 29%) for CMs with an average of 13%, (34% to 44%) for SMs with an average of 39%, (53% to 68%) for PTCMs with an average of 60%, and (68% to 73%) for N95 FFRs with an average of 70%, respectively. The efficiency followed the order N95 FFRs > PTCMs > SMs > CMs showing poor exposure reduction potential in CMs and high exposure reduction potential in N95 FFRs and PTCMs. Amendment in existing CMs using eco-friendly cotton fabric with better facial adherence can protect human health from exposure to fine particulates <2.5 µm and can reduce the risk of micro-plastic pollution caused by polypropylene (PP) facemasks.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Occupational Exposure , Respiratory Protective Devices , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Masks , Nepal , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , Inhalation Exposure/analysis , Filtration , Materials Testing , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets , Particulate Matter , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control
BACKGROUND: This study evaluated the use of prophylactic dressings (silicone foam, silicone tape, hydrocolloid) under N95/P2 respirators to determine which dressings fit successfully. AIM: The aim was to develop a health service protocol for one state in Australia. METHODS: Data were collected during August and September 2021 as part of the Respiratory Protection Programme on 600 health workers using three types of prophylactic dressings. Five different types of respirators were used. Participant healthcare workers rated comfort on a four-point Likert scale. RESULTS: Successful fit was achieved by 63.6% of the respirator-dressing combinations. The best-performing respirator-dressing combination was the Trident® respirator with dressing Mepilex® Lite silicone foam (90.2% pass rate). High pass rates were found in the Trident® respirator with Mepilex® Border Lite with SofSicure silicone tape (79.1%); the 3M™ 1860 respirator with Mepilex® Border Lite with SofSicure silicone tape (74%); and the BSN orange duckbill respirator with Mepilex® Lite silicone foam (69.8%). The poorest-performing combination was the BYD™ respirator with Mepilex® Border Lite with SofSicure silicone tape (25.9% pass rate). Uncorrected chi-squared tests for association revealed significant associations between dressing type and outcome (P=0.004) and respirator type and outcome (P<0.001). Most respondents (82%) found the dressing combination markedly comfortable. CONCLUSIONS: When using prophylactic dressings under N95/P2 respirators, it is necessary to perform a fit test. In this study Trident® respirators had the highest probability of successful fit, while BYD™ respirators had the lowest. Combining Trident® respirators with Mepilex® Lite dressing was optimal. Most participants reported greater comfort with the dressings under the respirators.
Subject(s)Occupational Exposure , Respiratory Protective Devices , Bandages , Health Personnel , Health Services , Humans , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Silicones , Ventilators, Mechanical
OBJECTIVE: Discomfort and device-related pressure injury (DRPI) caused by N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) are common. The use of prophylactic hydrocolloid dressings is one of the strategies that may improve comfort and reduce DRPI. In this study, we investigated the impact of these dressings on N95 respirator fit. METHODS: We performed a repeat quantitative fit testing through the Respiratory Protection Program on 134 healthcare workers (HCWs), who applied hydrocolloid dressings on the bridge of their nose under the N95 FFRs that they passed the initial fit test with, but reported discomfort with the FFR. RESULTS: With the hydrocolloid dressings in place, the fit-test pass rate for the semirigid cup style (3M 1860) was 94% (108 of 115); for the the vertical flat-fold style (BYD), the pass rate was 85% (44 of 52); for the duckbill style (BSN medical ProShield and Halyard Fluidshield), the pass rate was 81% (87 of 108); and for the 3-panel flat-fold style (3M Aura) N95 FFRs, the pass rate was 100% (3 of 3). There was a statistically significant reduction in the overall fit factors for both the vertical flat-fold and duckbill type N95 respirators after the application of hydrocolloid dressings. CONCLUSIONS: Hydrocolloid dressings are likely to disturb the mask seal for nonrigid-style N95 FFRs, particularly the vertical flat-fold style and the duckbill style N95 FFRs. Given the risk of mask seal disturbance of N95 respirators as shown in this study, we advocate that any HCW requiring the use of prophylactic dressings should undergo repeat quantitative fit testing with the dressing in place prior to using the dressing and mask in combination.
Subject(s)Occupational Exposure , Respiratory Protective Devices , Bandages, Hydrocolloid , Equipment Design , Humans , N95 Respirators , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control
The COVID-19 pandemic spurred some regulators in the USA to require occupational health and safety programs to prevent COVID-19 transmission in workplaces. The objective of this study was to describe such state and federal regulations enacted between January 2020 and January 2022. Regulations, including emergency temporary standards (ETS) and permanent standards, were identified through a search of Nexis Uni and Bloomberg Law and review of US OSHA websites and the Federal Register. Full texts were reviewed for regulatory scope, hazard and exposure definitions, determination of exposure or risk levels, and control strategies. Four state (California, Michigan, Virginia, and Oregon) and two federal regulations were identified. All regulations described respiratory aerosols as the primary source of SARS-CoV-2 and recognized person-to-person transmission by droplet, airborne, and contact routes. Only the US OSHA ETS for healthcare explicitly stated that inhalation of respiratory particles was the most likely method of COVID-19 transmission. The Virginia, Michigan, and Oregon regulations described different categories of risk defined by exposure frequency and duration or specific workplace activities. California described exposure as places and times when employees come into contact or congregate with other people. The US OSHA ETS for healthcare described exposure as involving close contact with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients. While all of the state regulations required strategies from across the hierarchy, only the Virginia regulations specifically incorporated the hierarchy of controls. Only the California and Virginia regulations explicitly linked control strategies to the transmission route, while Virginia demarcated control strategies by risk level. Oregon linked risk level to occupancy levels and physical distancing requirements and referred to the use of a layered approach for transmission control. The US OSHA ETS for healthcare defined droplet and airborne precautions but made no mention of the hierarchy of controls or risk levels. Respirators were discussed in most of the regulations. The first Michigan regulation explicitly required respirators appropriate to exposure risk. The California regulations noted that respirators protect the wearer while face coverings protect people around the wearer. These regulations offer insights for a permanent US OSHA infectious disease regulation, such as the need to consider a range of transmission modes including near- and far-range aerosol inhalation, endemic and novel pathogens, workplaces beyond healthcare settings, factors that contribute to exposure and risk, the hierarchy of controls, the role of vaccination, and the importance of written exposure assessment and infection prevention plans.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Occupational Exposure , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Pandemics/prevention & control , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets , Policy Making
Subject(s)Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Age Factors , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
Individuals who are unable to be clean shaven for religious, medical or cultural reasons are unable to wear a filtering facepiece respirator (FFR), as the respirator cannot provide adequate protection against aerosol-transmissible diseases. There is currently a paucity of validated techniques to ensure the safe inclusion of bearded healthcare workers in the pandemic workforce. We propose to undertake a healthcare-based multi-modal evaluation study on the elastic band beard cover for FFR technique, examining the quantitative fit test (QNFT) results, usability and skill level of participants with repeated assessments over time. This is a prospective study conducted through the Respiratory Protection Program at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Healthcare workers are invited to participate if they require respiratory protection and cannot shave for religious, cultural or medical reasons. An online education package on the use of respiratory protective equipment and the elastic band beard cover for FFR technique is provided. This is followed by a face-to-face session, where the participant will receive: one-on-one training; undergo a skill assessment on their donning, doffing and user seal check techniques; complete QNFTs and a usability survey. Participants will be invited to repeat the assessment within 3 months of the first session and at 12 months. This study involves multimodal and repeated assessments of an elastic band beard cover for FFRs. The findings of this study will provide information on: whether this simple technique can provide safe, consistent and effective respiratory protection; whether it will interfere with occupational activities; and whether it is comfortable and tolerable for the duration of wear. This is of significant importance to the health workforce around the world, who cannot shave but require access to respiratory protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Occupational Exposure , Respiratory Protective Devices , Humans , Prospective Studies , Pandemics/prevention & control , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Equipment Design , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Ventilators, Mechanical , Delivery of Health Care
Regulations for measures to protect against SARS-CoV-2 transmission vary widely around the world, with very strict regulations in Germany where respirators (filtering face piece FFP2 or comparable) are often mandatory. The efficiency of respirators, however, depends essentially on the tight facial fit avoiding the bypass of contaminated air via gaps between mask and wearer's face. The facial fit can be verified in a fit test. The aim of this review was to describe the quantitative fit test results depending on the respirator designs. A literature search revealed 29 suitable studies. Of all respirators with circumferential head straps, three-panel folded dome-shaped respirators showed the best fit (80.8% of 4625 fit tests passed), followed by rigid-dome-shaped respirators (72.4% of 8234 fit tests passed), duckbill-shaped respirators (31.6% of 2120 fit tests passed), and coffee-filter-shaped respirators (30.9% of 3392 fit tests passed). Respirators with ear loops showed very poor tight fit (3.6% of 222 fit tests passed). In four randomized control trials, single-use respirators were not shown to be superior to surgical masks for the prevention of laboratory-confirmed viral respiratory infections, even when adjusted with a fit test. Therefore, we consider the mandatory use of respirators to be disproportionate and not supported by evidence. Further evidence should be generated, in which scenarios respirators might provide an effective benefit as part of occupational health and safety. For situations with confirmed benefits, only high-quality disposable respirators with head straps or respiratory protective equipment of higher protective levels should be used.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Occupational Exposure , Respiratory Protective Devices , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Equipment Design , Masks , Ventilators, Mechanical , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increased attention on infection prevention measures. This study aims to assess whether changes in hand hygiene procedures, use of personal protective equipment and moisturizers during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic were associated with changes in the occurrence of skin symptoms among healthcare workers, cleaners, and day-care workers. A total of 602 participants (40%) responded to an electronic questionnaire, including questions on previous and current occupational exposure and skin problems. Increased frequency of hand washing, use of hand disinfectants, use of disposable gloves and moisturizers were all associated with an increased symptom score on the hands, wrists, forearms. Participants who increased their use of masks or respirators had a higher risk of facial skin symptoms, compared with those with non-increased occupational exposure. In conclusion, a change of behaviour among healthcare workers, cleaners and day-care workers during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, with an increase in occupational exposures and use of moisturizers, was associated with higher occurrence of facial skin symptoms and symptoms on the hands, wrists and forearms.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Occupational Exposure , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Masks/adverse effects , Occupational Exposure/adverse effects , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Health Personnel
OBJECTIVES: Public health authorities recommend symptom monitoring of healthcare personnel (HCP) after defined exposures to monkeypox. We report on the rapid development and implementation of mobile responsive survey solutions for notification of possible exposure, exposure risk assessment and stratification, and symptom monitoring. SETTING: An academic health center in Boston, Massachusetts, after admission of first diagnosed case of monkeypox in the United States during the current global outbreak. PARTICIPANTS: Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) design and programmers, infection control, occupational health, and emergency preparedness specialists, and HCP with possible exposure to monkeypox. INTERVENTIONS: Design and deployment of REDCap tools to identify HCP with possible exposure to monkeypox, to perform exposure risk assessment and stratification for postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), and to conduct symptom monitoring during the exposure window. Project enhancements included dashboards for HCP tracking and short message service (SMS text) reminders for symptom monitoring. RESULTS: Tools to support the contact tracing and exposure investigation were deployed within 24 hours of identification of a patient with suspected monkeypox, with the full suite in production within 4 days of confirmation of the monkeypox diagnosis. Clinical follow-up of HCP was integrated into the design, and real-time versioning allowed for improvements in HCP symptom monitoring compliance and enhanced tracking. CONCLUSIONS: During the current monkeypox outbreak, timely and comprehensive evaluation of potential HCP exposures is necessary but presents logistical challenges. Rapid development of monkeypox-specific solutions using REDCap facilitated flexibility in design and approach, and integration of targeted clinical support enhanced functionality.
Subject(s)Monkeypox , Occupational Exposure , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Monkeypox/diagnosis , Monkeypox/epidemiology , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Post-Exposure Prophylaxis , Risk Assessment , United States
BACKGROUND: Disease severity in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be associated with inoculation dose. This has triggered interest in intubation barrier devices to block droplet exposure; however, aerosol protection with these devices is not known. This study hypothesized that barrier devices reduce aerosol outside of the barrier. METHODS: Aerosol containment in closed, semiclosed, semiopen, and open barrier devices was investigated: (1) "glove box" sealed with gloves and caudal drape, (2) "drape tent" with a drape placed over a frame, (3) "slit box" with armholes and caudal end covered by vinyl slit diaphragms, (4) original "aerosol box," (5) collapsible "interlocking box," (6) "simple drape" over the patient, and (7) "no barrier." Containment was investigated by (1) vapor instillation at manikin's right arm with video-assisted visual evaluation and (2) submicrometer ammonium sulfate aerosol particles ejected through the manikin's mouth with ventilation and coughs. Samples were taken from standardized locations inside and around the barriers using a particle counter and a mass spectrometer. Aerosol evacuation from the devices was measured using standard hospital suction, a surgical smoke evacuator, and a Shop-Vac. RESULTS: Vapor experiments demonstrated leakage via arm holes and edges. Only closed and semiclosed devices and the aerosol box reduced aerosol particle counts (median [25th, 75th percentile]) at the operator's mouth compared to no barrier (combined median 29 [-11, 56], n = 5 vs. 157 [151, 166], n = 5). The other barrier devices provided less reduction in particle counts (133 [128, 137], n = 5). Aerosol evacuation to baseline required 15 min with standard suction and the Shop-Vac and 5 min with a smoke evacuator. CONCLUSIONS: Barrier devices may reduce exposure to droplets and aerosol. With meticulous tucking, the glove box and drape tent can retain aerosol during airway management. Devices that are not fully enclosed may direct aerosol toward the laryngoscopist. Aerosol evacuation reduces aerosol content inside fully enclosed devices. Barrier devices must be used in conjunction with body-worn personal protective equipment.
Subject(s)Aerosols/analysis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Occupational Exposure/analysis , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment , Aerosols/adverse effects , Cough/prevention & control , Cough/virology , Health Personnel , Humans , Intubation, Intratracheal/adverse effects
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic created an extraordinary demand for N95 and similarly rated filtering facepiece respirators (FFR) that remains unmet due to limited stock, production constraints, and logistics. Interest in decontamination and reuse of FFR, a product class designed for single use in health care settings, has undergone a parallel surge due to shortages. A worthwhile decontamination method must provide effective inactivation of the targeted pathogen(s), and preserve particle filtration, mask fit, and safety for a subsequent user. This discussion reviews the background of the current shortage, classification, structure, and functional aspects of FFR, and potentially effective decontamination methods along with reference websites for those seeking updated information and guidance. The most promising techniques utilize heat, hydrogen peroxide, microwave-generated steam, or ultraviolet light. Many require special or repurposed equipment and a detailed operational roadmap specific to each setting. While limited, research is growing. There is significant variation between models with regard to the ability to withstand decontamination yet remain protective. The number of times an individual respirator can be reused is often limited by its ability to maintain a tight fit after multiple uses rather than by the decontamination method itself. There is no single solution for all settings; each individual or institution must choose according to their need, capability, and available resources. As the current pandemic is expected to continue for months to years, and the possibility of future airborne biologic threats persists, the need for plentiful, effective respiratory protection is stimulating research and innovation.
Subject(s)COVID-19/prevention & control , Decontamination , Equipment Contamination , Equipment Reuse , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Inhalation Exposure/prevention & control , N95 Respirators/virology , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Inhalation Exposure/adverse effects , Occupational Exposure/adverse effects , Occupational Health , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors
Subject(s)COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19 , Health Personnel , Hospitals, Pediatric/statistics & numerical data , Occupational Exposure , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Adult , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Female , Health Personnel/classification , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Occupational Exposure/analysis , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Prevalence , Seroepidemiologic Studies
Subject(s)Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Infection Control/organization & administration , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , COVID-19 , Humans , Infection Control/methods
Subject(s)Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Disinfection , Hospitals , Infection Control/methods , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Disinfection/methods , Fomites/virology , Health Personnel , Humans , Personal Protective Equipment , SARS-CoV-2
BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has infected hundreds of millions of people resulting in millions of deaths worldwide. While N95 respirators remain the gold standard as personal protective equipment, they are resource-intensive to produce and obtain. Surgical masks, easier to produce and obtain, filter ≥95% submicron particles but are less protective due to a lack of seal around a user's face. This study tested the ability of a simple surgical mask modification using rubber bands to create a seal against particle exposure that would pass N95 standards. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Forty healthcare workers underwent TSI PortaCount mask fit testing using an ASTM Level 1 surgical mask modified with rubber bands. Fit Factor was determined after testing four standard OSHA N95 fit testing scenarios. Performance of the properly-modified surgical mask was compared to that of a poorly-modified surgical mask, an unmodified standard surgical mask, and an N95 respirator. Thirty-one of forty (78%) healthcare workers passed Fit Factor testing using a properly-modified mask. The Fit Factor success rate significantly improved by subsequent test date (p = 0.043), but was not associated with any other participant characteristics. The average Fit Factor score for the properly-modified mask was 151 (SD 65.2), a significantly better fit than the unmodified mask score of 3.8 (SD 3.1, p<0.001) and the poorly-modified mask score of 24.6 (SD 48.4, p<0.001) but significantly lower than a properly fitted N95 score of 199 (SD 4.5, p<0.001).do. CONCLUSIONS: Rubber bands, a low-cost and easily-accessible modification, can improve the seal and protective ability of a standard surgical mask to the level of an N95 respirator. This could mitigate N95 respirator shortages worldwide and provide individuals in under-resourced regions a practical means for increased personal respiratory protection.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Occupational Exposure , Respiratory Protective Devices , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Masks , N95 Respirators , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control
In the face of a global pandemic posing unprecedented risks to worker health, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the agency charged with protecting workers from occupational illness, has floundered. Its efforts to protect workers have been too little, too late, poorly designed, and entangled in legal controversy. Two years into a pandemic that has posed the greatest threat to worker health in our lifetimes, OSHA has adopted no effective, COVID-19-specific protections for workers. This article chronicles OSHA's efforts and the response of the courts.