April 21, 2022

NIOSH Revises Resource on Respiratory Protection Programs for Healthcare Workers

NIOSH recently published a revised version of an agency resource intended to help hospitals implement effective respiratory protection programs. Titled Hospital Respiratory Protection Toolkit: Resources for Respiratory Program Administrators, this resource was originally published in 2015 and emphasizes the prevention of aerosol disease transmission to healthcare workers. According to NIOSH’s website, the new edition includes contextual changes to the document’s wording that “reflect newer health and safety guidance since the publication of the original toolkit,” as well as routine edits and updated hyperlinks and references to other resources.

Healthcare workers often take on health and safety responsibilities in facilities that have limited resources, the toolkit’s introduction explains. Accordingly, the NIOSH resource is “written as a practical manual that can be used by anyone charged with setting up and maintaining a hospital respiratory protection program.” The toolkit explains why healthcare facilities must implement respiratory protection programs and controls; lists different kinds of respiratory protection; outlines the development of a respiratory protection program; and provides a respiratory protection program template.

A free PDF of the toolkit can be downloaded from the NIOSH website.