Only Online - USGlass October 2006
OSHA Revises Respiratory Protection Standards
APFs are numbers that indicate the level of workplace respiratory protection that a respirator or class of respirators is expected to provide to employees when used as part of an effective respiratory protection program. An APF table is being included in the final standard to guide employers in the selection of air-purifying, powered air-purifying, supplied-air (or airline respirator), and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) respirators.
Companies in the glass industry--such as those that silver mirror or aluminum companies that do painting and anodizing--are sometimes exposed to volatiles or airborne particles. Depending on the level of APFs at which those companies are currently, the new OSHA requirements may require them to enforce tighter workplace protection measures.
The APF final rule completes the revision of the reserve sections of OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard as published in 1998; with this addition, the Respiratory Protection Standard will now contain provisions necessary for a comprehensive respiratory protection program, including selection and use of respirators, training, medical evaluation and fit testing.
"This standard helps employers and employees select the right respirator for the job," said Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. "And with the right respirator employees will have adequate protection to be safe and healthy at work."
OSHA's final respiratory standard on APFs was published in the August 24, 2006, Federal Register.
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