New Quantitative Fit Testing Method Proposal

If you want your employees fit-tested using quantitative fit-testing methods, it presently takes 7.2 minutes if done in accordance with the present standard.

Admitting that this might be a bit long, OSHA is proposing to adopt three new fit test methods, one for each of the main types of respirators used when doing quantitative fit testing: Full-Face Respirators, Half-Mask Respirators and Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFR). These new methods would be known, respectively as the “Fast-Full Method”, “The Fast-Half Method” (OSHA was wise enough not to invert those first two words and label it the Half-Fast Method as it might be awkward for fit testers to explain to their clients why they were doing a half-fast job of fit testing employees!) and the Fast FFR Method.

Essentially these new methods would “include only 3 of the 7 current test exercises (i.e., bending, head side-to-side, and head up-and-down) plus a new exercise (i.e., jogging-in-place), and reduce each exercise duration“. These “Fast Methods” would reduce the time it takes to fit test someone down to 2.5 minutes instead of the current 7.2 minutes.

OSHA is presently seeking comments on this proposed amendment to the fit testing standard. Comments and further clarification can be found online at:

Determining which type of respiratory protection is right

We get calls, almost on a daily basis, from customers wanting us to tell them what type of respirator they need. The call usually goes something like this:

National Safety Sales Rep (usually by the 2nd ring, never more than 3 rings, as that’s our promise): “Hello, National Safety, how may I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, I need help figuring out which respirator I need to wear”

National Safety Sales Rep: “Certainly. What are you trying to protect against?”

Customer names a chemical

National Safety Sales Rep: “Okay, what’s your concentration?”

Customer: “My what?”

National Safety Sales Rep: “Your concentration… how much of the chemical are you being exposed to?”

Customer: “I don’t know… not a whole lot!”

National Safety Sales Rep: “Okay, let’s come back to that question in a bit. How long are you exposed to it?”

Customer: “That depends, sometimes just a bit or time and sometimes a lot longer”

You get the idea. The point is that they often want a simple, quick answer to a complex and complicated question with a myriad for variables. Which type of respiratory protection you need depends on concentration, length of exposure, environmental issues and any number of other potential issues.

So rather than expecting your distributor to answer questions that they really can’t answer properly without all the information they’ll need, head instead to OSHA’s respiratory eTool online.

Answer a few basic questions (of course, you’ll need to have the answers… even OSHA isn’t going to recommend without the proper data), and it will let you know which type of respirator you need for your particular application.

Give it a shot, even if you are already pretty sure you’re using the right level of protection, can’t hurt to confirm and if you’re wrong it’s important to find that out!


Powerpoints for Safety Training is a file sharing website for powerpoint presentations. I have, over the years, uploaded several powerpoints to this website and they are available to you free of charge.

Simply download them and use them as you need.

After seeing a report that almost 100,000 people had viewed these presentations and over 1,000 had downloaded them, I realized that I had probably never mentioned them here on this blog so, to make up for that, here the links for you to have a look and download if you feel that they might be of use to you.

Photo of 1936 Supplied Air Respirator


Oct. 15, 1936. Washington, D.C. “Protection against that dreaded disease Silicosis is assured underground workers with this new sand-blasting helmet developed by William P. Biggs, Safety Engineer of the Navy Department. Weighing only 43 ounces, the helmet has been tested for nearly a year in various naval stations throughout the country.” Harris & Ewing glass negative.

(taken from

Pop Quiz: How many CFM do you need for Asbestos Abatement?

Asbestos is bad stuff! If you’re dealing with it in any way you need proper protection, especially respiratory protection and recent inspections by the Department of Labor and Industries (L & I) have found a problem in many of the supplied air set-up being used.

If you are using suppied air respirators for asbestos remediation rather than pressure demand, you need to make sure that you are supplying your workers with 6 cubic feet per minute (CFM) rather than the 4 CFM used most commonly in supplied air systems.

In order to make sure you are providing the correct CFM, you need to install a rotameter to your air system and make sure that all “replacement hoses and other respirator parts are made by the same manufacturer and verify they are part of the manufacturers NIOSH-approved configuration.”

For more information, download the “Special Air-Flow Requirements for Asbestos” document provided by L & I Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) and available for download on our website at
(Click on the “Respiratory Requirements for Asbestos Abatement” link in the “Items of Interest” box on the right hand side of the screen)

Respiratory Protection Glossary by Convergence Training

So far, Convergence Training has brought us the following glossaries which we have posted here on this blog:

Ladders Glossary
Lockout/Tagout Glossary
Electrical Glossary

Here’s their latest offering, the Respiratory Protection Glossary

Again, you can bookmark it to view it online or download it so that you got it with you whether or not you have an internet connection.
Thanks Jeffrey Dalto!

“Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respiratory Protection Standard”

OSHA has just published a free 124 page document entitled “Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respiratory Protection Standard

The document is “intended to help small businesses comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Respiratory Protection Standard… OSHA’s goal for this

document is to provide small entities with a comprehensive step-by-step guide complete with checklists and commonly asked questions that will aid both employees and employers in small businesses with a better understanding of OSHA’s respiratory protection standard.”


Its’ goal is a plain English guide to help small and medium businesses comply with the OSHA standard.

It also contains a comprehensive set of definitions to help clear up any confusion about terminology, clear and revised Assigned Protection Factors (APFs) as well as updated Maximum Use Concentrations (MUCs).


Especially helpful are the numerous checklists scattered throughout the document which can help users figure out which respirator is needed, checklists to make sure that all necessary steps have been taken, checklists to make sure that the required documentation is there and much, much more.

It is well illustrated to remove any doubt as to the nature of the type of respirator needed and contains all the necessary documents such as a copy of the medical evaluation form and more.


A definite “must have” document to download and keep on file.