In connection with the COVID-19 pandemic that is raging around the world, the IRSST is using its expertise in occupational health and safety. On this page you will find notices, recommandations and support tools concerning the health and safety of workers and COVID-19.
Reusable elastomeric respiratory protection equipment (RPE) (full masks and half masks) are useful alternatives for the protection of workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. When used appropriately, RPE can give workers protection factors equivalent to or greater than those of disposable N-95 filtering facepieces. They could also be valuable in the event of a potential shortage of N-95 masks. An independent working group considers the routine use of reusable elastomeric RPE in health care institutions to be a viable option when a respiratory protection program is in place.
Certain international standards, including those of the Association française de normalisation (AFNOR), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group), are now available free of charge to contribute to management of the COVID-19 pandemic that is currently raging worldwide.
This study, which was conducted in three embalming labs, showed that, on average, workers engaged in embalming activities are exposed to low levels of bioaerosols; nevertheless, several tasks carried out by embalmers are likely to trigger peak aerosol emissions of up to 45 times the baseline level.
Cashiers in essential stores are likely to come into contact with people infected with COVID-19. Some stores have already individually taken the initiative of installing physical barriers (Plexiglas) around checkout counters to reduce these workers’ exposure. To support retailers in installing the most effective tools possible, this document recapitulates several of the IRSST’s recommendations based on tests and its expertise. The following recommendations are intended to be inexpensive, simple and applicable during a crisis.
N95 type respiratory protection equipment (RPE) is a disposable filtering facepiece with an assigned protection factor (APF) of 10. There are several other kinds of RPE that provide equivalent or greater protection. According to the CNESST, all RPE must be approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).