Yesterday on October 6th, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration issued a notice of proposed rule making that would add two new rules to the current respiratory protection standard.
The new proposed protocols which would apply to workers in the construction, maritime, and general industry would decrease the amount of time and steps for properly fit testing respirators.
OSHA is encouraging the public to review the new standards and to comment before they implement their proposed actions. The ultimate goal is to maintain health and safety standards while decreasing the current cumbersome time that it currently takes to do a proper fit check.
Employers do not need to change or modify any of their current fit testing procedures and will not need to as long as they meet the existing standards. The 45 page proposal includes studies and reasoning behind the motion. If you or your employees regularly use respirators in the workplace, we highly recommend reviewing the contents of the OSHA proposal.