NIOSH seeking comments on PPE plan

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is seeking comments on its Draft Personal Protective Technology Implementation Plan for respirators and other types of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The comments will help ensure that NIOSH has identified stakeholder needs for new research on the equipment in the 21st century workplace and will help confirm the research plan will be effective in meeting those needs, according to NIOSH information.

"Maintaining the health and safety of workers in the United States and globally is accomplished in part by reducing hazardous exposures through the use of personal protective equipment," NIOSH stated.

An estimated five million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 million US workplaces. For some occupations, such as firefighting, the worker's protective equipment is the only form of protection against life-threatening hazards; for other workers, the personal protective technology (PPT) is a supplement to ventilation and other environmental, engineering, or administrative hazard controls.

Public comment on the plan will be taken until June 1, 2009. For more information, see the NIOSH Web site.

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