Magazine article Occupational Hazards

OSHA Adds APFs to Respiratory Protection Standard

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

OSHA Adds APFs to Respiratory Protection Standard

Article excerpt

Three years after the agency unveiled the proposed rule in the Federal Register--and after some heated public discussions--OSHA is incorporating assigned protection factors (APFs) for respiratory programs into its respiratory protection standard.

OSHA published its final respiratory standard on APFs in the Aug. 24 Federal Register.

This APF final rule completes the revision of the reserve sections of OSHA's respiratory protection standard as published in 1998. The respiratory protection standard now will contain provisions necessary for a comprehensive respiratory protection program, including selection and use of respirators, training, medical evaluation and fit testing.

OSHA Administrator Edwin Foulke said the standard will help "employers and employees select the right respirator for the job."

"And with the right respirator, employees will have adequate protection to be safe and healthy at work," Foulke said.

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. …

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