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Respirator Use in Health Care Workplaces

Background and Purpose

Health care workers in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, clinics, and physician offices can be exposed to serious infectious diseases such as influenza, tuberculosis, measles and meningitis. Staff in health care workplaces must be trained and equipped to protect themselves and prevent the spread of these diseases. Our health care community must also be prepared to protect workers whenever a novel pathogen emerges, such as the 2009 H1N1 influenza.

Respiratory protection is one important component of an effective infection control program. Respirators for protection against infectious diseases must be used effectively and in compliance with the Cal/OSHA Respiratory Protection and Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) Standards. We have been working with the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory, hospitals and other health care partners to help implement effective infection control and respiratory protection programs to protect both workers and the public.


  • Evaluating the use of respiratory protection in California hospitals
  • Developing and distributing a Respirator Program Toolkit to assist California hospital respirator program administrators
  • Providing education, training and resources on respirators and other control measures for workplaces with infectious disease hazards
  • Responding to technical questions on respirator use and the Cal/OSHA ATD standard through the Workplace Hazard Helpline (866) 282-5516 or resp@cdph.ca.gov
Publications and Reports
Related Links and Resources
Program Information
Last modified on: 8/26/2013 10:42 AM