When loud noises cannot be reduced or eliminated through engineering controls, workers who are exposed to them must use hearing protection devices (HPDs) to conserve their hearing. This notion is not new, nor is the concept that HPDs require fit-testing to be effective.
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.