Back to Basics is a weekly feature that highlights important but possibly overlooked information that any EHS professional should know. This week, we examine OSHA’s requirements for respiratory protection. Respiratory protection is important in many different industries, and it has played an even greater role in the workforce since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. […]
The respiratory protection needs of many U.S. workers are not being met, according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published February 10. Many independent contractors and self-employed and “gig” workers are not considered employees or employers and are not covered by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, […]
How’s your respiratory protection compliance? Last year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) allowed inspectors to exercise enforcement discretion, especially in enforcing the agency’s annual fit-testing requirement, in response to respirator shortages. All those discretion directives have since been withdrawn. The time is now to check all components of your written respiratory protection program, […]
Exceptions from respiratory protection regulations allowing the use of surgical masks only apply to healthcare facilities and emergency medical services, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reminded employers. Other employers must provide respirators, the agency explained in guidance discussing the differences among cloth face coverings, surgical masks, and respirators.
On March 14, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued temporary guidance regarding enforcement of annual respirator fit-testing requirements under the respiratory protection standard. The agency directed its field offices to exercise discretion to not cite an employer for violations of the annual fit testing requirement if the employer meets certain conditions.
Nationwide, approximately 1.4 million workplaces provide at least some of their employees with respiratory protection. Studies indicate that at these workplaces, gaps exist in their written respiratory protection program, their understanding of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements, or the administration of the program. These gaps lead to issues in mandatory compliance or recommended […]
Yesterday we looked at the hazards of methylene chloride, a common paint-stripping chemical with many industrial uses—and many hazards, including cancer. Today, let’s talk about how to protect workers from exposure to this narcotic, corrosive, carcinogenic chemical.
OSHA estimates that as many as 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in more than 1 million workplaces throughout the United States. If you’re going to ensure that those workers are breathing clean air, you have to start from the outside and work your way in.
Your safety onboarding program says a lot about your organization and the importance it gives to safety. Make sure your new hires are getting the right message. A new employee’s first few days on the job are a crucial time for conveying essential safety information and establishing a proper orientation to workplace safety. During that […]
Make sure employees who get anywhere near hazardous materials understand the risks and the precautions. Depending on the hazardous material and the amount, hazards can range from moderate to deadly. Your employees also need to realize that hazardous substances can be hazardous in different ways. They can be: