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N95 Respirator/Mask Information

November 20, 2023 13359

Cal OSHA expects dental practices to evaluate employees’ need for PPE. A dental employer must provide and ensure use of respiratory protection for employees exposed to procedures that aerosolize saliva or other potentially infectious materials, unless a patient has a negative test result after self-administering an OTC COVID-19 antigen diagnostic test on the same day and prior to the performance of dental procedures which aerosolize saliva or other potentially infectious materials. A respiratory protection program includes the provision of respirators and medical evaluation and fit testing of tight-fitting respirators to staff occupationally exposed to dental aerosols. A written program and staff training also are required. 

Below is information on other types of NIOSH-approved respirators, how to complete a medical evaluation and fit testing and compliance documentation. Resources are available for dentists who want to conduct the required fit test themselves.

Cal OSHA also requires employers to provide a respirator to any worker who works indoors and requests it even when they are not occupationally exposed to dental aerosols. When complying with this requirement, the employer is not required to medically evaluate and fit test the employee. The employer must provide a correctly sized respirator and training on how to properly wear the respirator, to perform a user seal check and the fact that facial hair interferes with a seal. 

NIOSH The Respiratory Protection Information Trusted Source
Learn the types of respiratory protection and find answers to frequently asked questions about respirator use.

Respirator Fit Testing Requirements
Learn the steps to performing a required respirator fit test in accordance with Cal/OSHA regulations.

Respiratory Protection Program
Download the Respiratory Protection Program form.

NIOSH: Counterfeit Respirators/Misrepresentation of NIOSH Approval
Learn more about counterfeit respirators.

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