OSHA Provides New Fitting Protocols for Respirators
Personal protective equipment (PPE) can only do its job of protecting workers from injuries if it is in good working condition and fits properly. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a final rule that provides employers with two new simplified fit-testing protocols for ensuring that employees’ respirators fit properly.
The new protocols offer fit testing for full-facepiece and half-mask elastomeric respirators, and for filtering facepiece respirators. Both protocols are variations of the original OSHA-approved fit tests, but have fewer test exercises, shorter exercise duration, and a more streamlined sampling sequence. The new rule does not require employers to update or replace their current fit testing methods and does not impose additional costs.