Monthly Round Up of Important Ideas and Standards in
Industrial Hygiene and Safety
IN THIS ISSUE: OSHA Revises APFs Impacting All Industries that Provide Respiratory Protection to Employees
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revised the assigned protection factors (APF) for respirators and included them in the respiratory protection standard 1910.134. The APFs have been in place for decades, and this rule completes the revision of the respiratory standard first published in 1998.
“The revised standard is vital to employers in selecting the appropriate respirator for the job and better protecting employees against contaminants in the workplace,” explains Gary R. Ticker, CIH, CSP, of OccuSafe, Inc. “Using the APFs is one tool to bring the levels of contaminant inhaled below the exposure limit.”
APFs indicate the level of workplace respiratory protection that a class of respirators is expected to provide. With a clear understanding of the new standards, employers must select the appropriate type of respirator based upon the exposure limit of a contaminant and the level of that contaminant in the workplace.
“Think of AFPs as the divisor in a division problem,” says Ticker. “If the AFP of a respirator is 10 and the concentration of a workplace contaminant is 100 PPM, then the concentration inside the respirator is approximately 10 PPM.”
OccuSafe Environmental and Safety Services, Inc. provides skills and expertise to recognize, evaluate and control hazards and injuries in the workplace. Our services include industrial hygiene, occupational safety and health, noise testing, ergonomics and training. OccuSafe serves a wide range of industries.
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