OSHA Moves to Revise Fit Test Procedures, Seeks Comments

In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published in yesterday's Federal Register, OSHA encouraged the public to comment on its proposal to revise two fit test procedures for determining the effectiveness of respiratory protection facemasks under the agency's Respiratory Protection Standard.

In 1998, OSHA issued the revised OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard, 29 CFR 1910.134, which incorporated two categories of respirator fit tests. Some tests expose wearers to airborne agents to determine if they can detect them, and other tests use a machine to measure how much of a test agent leaks into a respirator. The proposed revisions would allow certain machine-based fit tests to be conducted more quickly and increase the required score for passing them.

To comment on the proposed rule, go to www.regulations.gov and reference Docket No. OSHA-2007-0007. Comments may also be submitted by fax at (202) 693-1648 or by mail to the OSHA Docket Office, Technical Data Center, Room N-2625, OSHA, Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210.

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