Voluntary Use of N95 and KN95

Please see the new guidance issued today by Nevada OSHA on voluntary use of N95 and KN95 masks:

Voluntary Use of Filtering Facepieces


This guidance is in response to industry concerns related to the influx of filtering facepiece respirators
(commonly called N95/KN95 masks) being distributed to the public through pharmacies and community
health centers. Per 29 CFR 1910.134(b), a filtering facepiece respirator is defined as a negative pressure
particulate respirator with a filter as an integral part of the facepiece or with the entire facepiece
composed of the filtering medium.

Can employers allow employees to voluntarily wear N95/KN95 masks?
Yes, employers may allow employees to voluntarily wear N95/KN95 masks if employers follow certain
requirements. 29 CFR 1910.134 outlines what employers must do when allowing employees to
voluntarily wear filtering facepiece respirators when otherwise not required.

What are employers required to do if employees want to voluntarily wear N95/KN95 masks?
Per 29 CFR 1910.134(c)(2)(i), an employer must provide the respirator user with information contained
in Appendix D of 1910.134 (included below).

How can employers meet the notification requirements?
Per 29 CFR 1910.134(k)(6), the information contained in Appendix D can be provided in any written or
oral format. For the purposes of compliance, Nevada OSHA will seek some type of proof that this
information was provided to employees. Some examples of compliant communication of Appendix D
• A group-signed tailgate document with the language of Appendix D contained on the body of
the document.
• An email containing Appendix D language with employees responding that they have received
the information.
• Onboarding/training software with user-prompted acknowledgement.
• Individually signed notices containing Appendix D language.

Does an employer have to fit test or medically evaluate employees voluntarily wearing filtering
facepiece respirators?
No. The employer does not need to ensure that an employee is medically able to use a filtering
facepiece respirator, nor implement fit testing procedures, if the filtering facepiece respirator is used

Is an employer required to create a written Respiratory Protection Program when employees
voluntarily wear filtering facepiece respirators in the workplace?
Per 29 CFR 1910.134(c)(2)(ii), if employees are solely using filtering facepiece respirators on a voluntary
basis a written Respiratory Protection Program is not required.
Per 29 CFR 1910.134(c)(1), if employees are using any type of respirator that is required by the employer
or necessary to protect their health a written Respiratory Protection Program is required. Employers are
required to assess respiratory hazards in the workplace and take the steps necessary to protect
employees. For example, some industries may have higher risk of exposure to COVID-19, such as the
nursing industry, where an employer may determine that respirators are needed to protect the health
of employees.
Please note that this guidance does not change or supersede the Governor’s Emergency Directives
regarding the requirement to wear face coverings. Employers do not need to require filtering facepiece
respirators to comply with state face covering requirements at this time.
If you have any questions or concerns about this information, please do not hesitate to contact Nevada
OSHA at 775-688-3700 (north) or 702-486-9020 (south).