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SHARE Systems for Providing Protection from Inhalation Hazards Should Extend to the Public and Broader Groups of Workers, Says New Report

14 Feb 2022 7:29 PM | Anonymous

Currently, no federal entity specifically approves respiratory protective devices intended for the public, the report notes. It recommends HHS designate a laboratory to oversee standards development, assessment, and approval of respiratory protective devices for the public. The laboratory should research factors that affect the design and appropriate use of devices, including facial characteristics, fit, and breathability. It should consider the unique needs of children, older adults, and people with certain health conditions. [THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS]

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Full report here>

The report also recommends that Congress revise the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970 to give OSHA the authority to ensure respiratory protection for workplaces that are currently outside its jurisdiction. Pending revisions to the 1970 legislation, OSHA should adopt the broadest permissible interpretation of “employees” and “employers” to expand coverage of its respiratory protection requirements. The categories of workers who could be covered under expanded definitions include gig economy workers, unpaid volunteers, domestic workers in residential settings, and some independent contractors. 


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