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OSHA Issues Respirator Selection Details

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued Assigned Protection Factors for the Revised Respiratory Protection Standard (OSHA 3352-02 2009), a detailed guide to respirator selection. The publication includes explanations of Assigned Protection Factors and Maximum Use Concentrations, per OSHA’s 2006 Revised Respiratory Protection Standard; it does not alter or determine standards or compliance responsibilities.

The guide is for employers who need to establish and implement a respiratory protection program. It follows OSHA’s 2006 revision of its Respiratory Protection standard to add definitions and requirements for APFs and MUCs. (See 63 FR 1152; 29 CFR 1910.134; 71 FR 50122, August 24, 2006.)

The document focuses on the mandatory selection provisions of the APFs and MUCs and their role in the overall Respiratory Protection standard. The final APFs provide employers with critical information to use when selecting respirators for employees exposed to atmospheric contaminants found in industry.

This guide answers these questions:

• What are Assigned Protection Factors (APFs)?

• What are Maximum Use Concentrations (MUCs)?

• How to Use APFs and MUCs?

The final Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134 and 29 CFR 1926.103) applies to general industry, construction, long shoring, shipyard and marine terminal workplaces.

The Agency developed the final APFs after thoroughly reviewing the available literature, including workplace protection factor studies, comments submitted to the record, and hearing testimony.

This publication provides a general overview of a particular standards-related topic. Because interpretations and enforcement policy may change over time, the reader should consult current administrative interpretations and decisions by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and the courts for additional guidance on OSHA compliance requirements.

The guide is available at http://www.osha.gov/Publications/3352-APF-respirators.html and to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999; teletypewriter (TTY) number: 1-877-889-5627.


Tagged categories: Certifications and standards; OSHA; OSHA

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