OSHA Adds New Fit-Testing Protocols
A final rule published in today’s Federal Register adds two respirator fit-testing protocols to Appendix A of OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard. With the additions, Appendix A now includes six OSHA-approved methods for ensuring that workers’ respirators fit properly.
The new protocols are quantitative methods submitted to OSHA by TSI in July 2014 and are identified in the final rule as the modified ambient aerosol condensation nuclei counter (CNC) quantitative fit-testing protocol for full-facepiece and half-mask elastomeric respirators, and the modified ambient aerosol CNC quantitative fit-testing protocol for filtering facepiece respirators. Both protocols are abbreviated versions of an existing ambient aerosol CNC fit-testing method. As described in the Federal Register, the new methods differ from the original method in the number of exercises workers are required to perform during a fit test, the durations of the exercises, and the sequence for sampling air inside the mask. The final rule states that the duration of the new protocols is nearly five minutes less than the original CNC protocol.