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OSHA’s Provides Temporary Guidance for Tight-Fitting Powered Air-Purifying Respirators

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released temporary guidance for enforcing initial and annual fit-testing requirements for tight-fitting powered air-purifying respirators.

This new enforcement discretion policy permits the use of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved tight-fitting powered air-purifying respirators for protection against the coronavirus when initial and/or annual fit testing is infeasible due to respirator and fit-testing supply shortages. The guidance applies to health care personnel and other workers in high or very high exposure risk activities.

This policy does not apply to:

  • PAPRs that have not been approved by NIOSH;

  • PAPRs used by any workers with low or medium exposure risk to SARS-CoV-2;

  • PAPRs used by any workers for protection against airborne hazards other than SARS-CoV-2 (e.g., chemical hazards); and

  • Loose-fitting hooded PAPRs that do not require fit-testing.

Please see the original memorandum below


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