The Importance of Proper Respiratory Protection for Millions of Workers
The American Board of Industrial Hygiene® (ABIH®) reminds workers and industry of the need to protect against exposure to airborne hazards.
Lansing, MI, December 5th, 2016 -- In October, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a preliminary list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year. For the last several years, the 4th most cited violation has been associated with respiratory protection.
According to OSHA, an estimated 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 million workplaces throughout the United States. OSHA states that respirators protect workers against insufficient oxygen environments, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors and sprays. These hazards may cause cancer, lung impairment, diseases or death.
The proper use of respirators can protect workers in two basic ways. The first is by the removal of contaminants from the air. Respirators of this type include particulate respirators, which filter out airborne particles, and air-purifying respirators with cartridges/canisters which filter out chemicals and gases. Other respirators protect workers by supplying clean respirable air from another source.
“Compliance with OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard could avert numerous deaths and countless illnesses annually,” said David Roskelley, CIH® and Chair of ABIH®. “The correct type of respiratory protection and proper employee training is essential for preventing health issues associated with breathing in a host of potentially toxic substances and gases. Unfortunately, we can see from the annual OSHA list of violations that far too few employers are providing this required protection and training.”
Certified Industrial Hygienists are uniquely qualified to assist companies, government agencies and institutions in protecting their employees through the proper use, selection and training for respiratory protection devices and other personal protective equipment. Core competencies of the CIH® program also include health risk analysis and hazard communication; chemical and biohazards; air sampling and instrumentational analysis; engineering controls and ventilation; and work environments and industrial processes.
To learn more about the American Board of Industrial Hygiene®, Certified Industrial Hygienist® credential or to locate a CIH® to perform industrial hygiene services, please visit www.ABIH.org, email abih@ABIH.org or call (517) 321-2638.
About the American Board of Industrial Hygiene®
Since 1960, ABIH®, a not-for-profit corporation, has been the world's largest organization for certifying professionals in the practice of industrial hygiene. ABIH® is the premier credentialing body responsible for ensuring high-quality certification including education, experience, examination, certification maintenance and ethics enforcement. Currently, more than 6800 people in 32 countries are certified to use the CIH® designation.
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