Masks and Respirators in the Workplace: Source Control or PPE?

Wearing a mask or respirator is an effective way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Understand the differences when using them as source control or personal protective equipment in your workplace. Get more information on masks.

Masks and Respirators in the Workplace: Source Control or PPE? Infographic and its text description

Infographic: Masks and Respirators in the Workplace: Source Control or PPE?

Description: Masks and Respirators in the Workplace: Source Control or PPE?

Wearing a mask or respirator is an effective way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 at both the SOURCE (infected individual) and the WORKER who could be at risk.

How will you be using masks and respirators at your workplace?

You can use them as either source control or personal protective equipment (PPE).

Source Control

  • Intended to control the virus at the SOURCE to help protect others.
  • Meant to limit the spread of the source‚Äôs exhaled infectious respiratory particles.

Your mask or respirator must be well-constructed, well-fitting and properly worn. Although a respirator used as source control does not require fit testing, it is the only way to confirm it protects as expected.

PPE

  • Intended to control the virus at the WORKER level (protecting the person who is wearing the mask or respirator).
  • Meant to act as a barrier or limit the inhalation of infectious respiratory particles.

If you're using a mask or respirator as PPE it has to meet all regulatory requirements, including worker fit testing and training. It also has to be manufactured to applicable standards.

For further information on COVID-19, refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada

Document last updated on: 2022-02-25