A surgical mask is not a respirator and that’s an important distinction for you and your employer to understand. So lets review the significant differences between the two.
You have a right to a safe and healthful workplace. Whenever respiratory protection is required to be worn to protect you from hazardous airborne contaminants, your employer is responsible for implementing a comprehensive respiratory protection program and providing you with an appropriate respirator, in accordance with OSHAs respiratory protection standard, 29 CFR 1910.134. This program must include training, medical evaluation, and fit testing.