Now that flu season is officially here, we may feel heightened concern about the cause of our coworker’s, friend’s, or elevator mate’s cough. For healthcare workers, this seasonal concern is of year-round importance.
It might be mandatory. OSHA might require that your workplace require its employees to wear steel-toed boots or safety shoes. To be compliant under OSHA standards, some manual labor industries require them to prevent or help injury while on the job.
OSHA ruled in 2008 that employers are required to pay for their employees’ PPE. OSHA does not specify the method that employers must use to pay for PPE. Many employers maintain a stock of PPE and hand it out as employees need it. Other employers use allowances or reimbursement systems. Any of these methods are acceptable, as long as employees receive the PPE at no cost.
In the world of safety lies a plethora of devices and gadgets that offer unique capabilities with the aim of protecting end-users. While these devices can maximize one’s protection, safety goes beyond simply donning a device.
Provides protective wear to WV flood victims, volunteers
January 12, 2017
Early last summer, a massive flood hit areas of West Virginia, leaving 23 dead. It was among the most deadly floods in the state’s history and led Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to declare states of emergency in 44 of the state’s 55 counties. The National Guard was deployed to assist stranded residents, and hundreds of homes were lost or severely damaged in the flooding. The small town of Clendenin (approx. 1200 residents) was hit particularly hard, with news reports describing the whole town as being underwater.
Question: If an employee with a neatly trimmed goatee is wearing a respirator and it does not interfere with the seal of the face piece or valve function, and has passed a fit test, does this meet the intent of the OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard?
From an OSHA Letter of Interpretation:
Scenario: An employee is dry cutting concrete in an outdoor, well-ventilated environment that creates a small amount of dust that never approaches the permissible exposure limit (PEL), and the supervisor advises the employee to put a dust mask on.
Question: Does a supervisor advising an employee to put on a dust mask constitute non-voluntary (required) use even though the generated dust amount is below the PEL?
Reply: Respiratory protection is required when such equipment is necessary to protect the health of the employee or whenever respirators are required by the employer.
OSHA has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to add two quantitative fit-testing protocols to the agency's Respiratory Protection Standard. The protocols would apply to employers in the general, shipyard and construction industries.
Appendix A of the standard contains mandatory respirator fit-testing methods that employers must use to ensure their employees' respirators fit properly and protect the wearer.
Air-purifying respirators are many types of negative-pressure respirators which include chemical media and mechanical filters. Positive pressure respirators include powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs). Air-Purifying escape respirators (APER) are used by the general public for radiological, biological, chemical and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism incidents.