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OSHA Adds Protocol
To Respiratory Protection Standard
By Mark Dempsey
In its ongoing efforts to provide a healthy and safe environment for workers, OSHA, last month announced an addition to the approved fit–testing protocol in its Respiratory Protection Standard. A new quantitative fit-testing procedure has been added to assist workers AND employers in the proper fit and selection of respirators.
“Selecting the proper respirator is a vital step in protecting a user against potential over-exposures and adverse health effects,“ said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. “The additional fit-testing protocol will help employers and employees to select the right respirator based on the conditions in their workplace.”
The new fit-testing protocol, referred to as the Controlled Negative Pressure (CNP) REDON protocol, requires three different test exercises followed by two redonnings of the respirator to check for leakage. After donning the respirator:
• Facing forward – In a normal standing position, without talking, breathe normally for 30 seconds; then, while facing forward, hold breath for ten seconds during sampling.
• Bending over – Bend at waist for 30 seconds and hold breath for ten seconds during sampling.
• Head shaking – Shake head back and forth vigorously several times while shouting for approximately three seconds and, while facing forward, hold breath for ten seconds during sampling.
• First redonning – Remove respirator, loosen all face-piece straps and then redon the respirator mask; after redonning the mask, face forward and hold breath for ten seconds during sampling.
• Second redonning – Remove respirator, loosen all face-piece straps and then redon the respirator mask again; after redonning the mask, face forward and hold breath for ten seconds during sampling.