Categories: Personal Protective Equipment, Respirators
May 24th, 2016 11:05 am ET -
Judi Coyne, MBA, MA and Maryann M. D’Alessandro, PhD
“When you purchase a product, you expect it to work. Construction workers on high-rise buildings need to be confident that their safety harnesses will protect them in a fall. Firefighters need to know that their gloves and other protective equipment can withstand high temperatures. Healthcare workers administering highly toxic chemotherapy agents need to know that their gloves will withstand penetration.” [H. Cohen and C. Liverman, Editors, Certifying Personal Protective Technologies Improving Worker Safety, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, 2011].
How do you know if your personal protective equipment (PPE) will protect you or your workers? To help employers, users of PPE, and others determine which PPE standards must be met by their equipment, NIOSH in collaboration with key partners including the International Safety Equipment Association, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Mine Safety and Health Administration and other members of the PPE Conformity Assessment Working Group developed the PPE-INFO database.
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Categories: Observances, Respirators
February 12th, 2016 8:00 am ET -
Jaclyn Krah, MA
We here at NIOSH LOVE respirators. That’s why every Valentine’s day, we blog about important respirator considerations. It’s our version of an information-packed love letter. In 2014 we discussed essential maintenance tips for self-contained self-rescuers (SCSRs), also known as closed-circuit escape respirators (CCERs). Since that blog entry, the implementation of a new CCER standard (42 C.F.R. Part 84, Subpart O) took effect. The transition to the updated standard took place over a 3-year period, beginning in 2012.
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January 5th, 2016 2:22 pm ET -
Ziqing Zhuang, PhD; Michael Bergman, MS; and Jaclyn Krah, MA
Results of a recently completed NIOSH study confirm the necessity of the current Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) respirator fit testing requirement, both annually and when physical changes have occurred. The study’s conclusions emphasize that respirator users who have lost more than 20 pounds should be re-tested to be sure that the current size and model of respirator in use still properly fits. For over three years, NIOSH researchers followed a cohort of 229 subjects measuring N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) fit and physical characteristics (e.g., face size, weight) every six months. Prior to this study, very little research existed looking at the relationship between respirator fit over an extensive period of time and the change in facial dimensions, as could be caused by weight gain or loss. OSHA requires FFR users to undergo an annual fit test, which is vital to ensuring continued proper respirator fit. In addition to annual fit testing, OSHA requires that fit testing be repeated “whenever an employee reports, or the employer or the physician or other licensed health care professional makes visual observations of changes in the employee’s physical condition that could affect respirator fit (e.g. facial scarring, dental changes, cosmetic surgery, or an obvious change in body weight.” (OSHA, 1998)
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Categories: Healthcare, Observances, Personal Protective Equipment, Respirators
September 4th, 2015 8:12 am ET -
Jaclyn Krah, M.A
Every day is a day to think about worker safety. But today, on our annual N95 Day (09/04/2015), we embrace our dedication to proper respiratory protection practices, shining it with a bit of elbow grease, and displaying it at the very front line of our priorities. Today we find the time necessary to focus on respiratory protection and make sure that we are tuned into the best resources available. Whether you are participating today as an N95 user who understands the benefit of learning about your respirator, as a dedicated respiratory protection program manager, or safety manager determined to create a workplace culture that embraces proper respiratory protection practices – we are here to provide you with the tools you need.
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