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 respiratory infectious diseases. 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 respiratory infectious diseases 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 pathogen (germ) at the SOURCE to help protect others.
  • Meant to limit the spread of the source‚Äôs exhaled infectious respiratory particles.

Choose the best quality and best fitting mask or respiratory that is available. 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 pathogen 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 are 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 respiratory infectious diseases, refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Document last updated on: 2023-10-03