What's the difference between a cloth face mask and a surgical one, and do employers have to provide them for their returning workers?

As Connecticut heads into the second phase of reopening during the coronavirus pandemic, employers and employees have many questions about the use of face masks.

OSHA recently tried to provide answers to through a series of frequently asked questions.

"OSHA is ready to help workers and employers understand how to properly use masks so they can stay safe and healthy in the workplace," said Loren Sweatt, OSHA's principal deputy assistant secretary for labor.

The new guidance describes the differences between cloth face coverings, surgical masks, and respirators.

It also reminds employers not to use surgical masks or cloth face coverings when respirators are required.

The guidance cautions workers to continue social distancing—even while wearing face coverings—and recommends following the CDC's guidelines on washing face coverings.

These frequently asked questions mark the latest guidance from OSHA addressing protective measures for workplaces during the coronavirus pandemic.

OSHA has many online guidance documents for workers and employers, including:


For more information, contact CBIA's Phillp Montgomery (860.244.1982).