OSHA proposes new fit-test protocols

Streamlined protocols proposed by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration could make quantitative fit-testing more efficient.

One protocol would reduce the duration of the eight fit-testing exercises from 60 seconds to 30 seconds. A second protocol would eliminate two of the eight fit-testing exercises. The remaining six exercises would have a duration of 40 seconds. The second protocol also would increase the current minimum pass-fail fit-testing criterion from a fit factor of 100 to 200 for half masks and from 500 to 1,000 for full facepieces.

"If adopted, the protocols would not replace existing fit-testing protocols, but instead would be alternatives to them," OSHA said in the Federal Register notice.

(Editor's note: The OSHA Federal Register notice is available at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=FEDERAL_REGISTER&p_id=21394. Comments are being accepted through March 23.)