A consultation has been launched over the potential new standards for respiratory protective devices (RPDs).
The standard – ISO 16975 – will provide advice on the selection, use and maintenance of RPDs. It’s hoped it will help prevent harmful exposures at work. The new standard will, hopefully, be published in early 2018.
Competently delivered measures
Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Chartered Fellow Charles Tracey, convenor of the technical committee, is helping to draft the standard.
He said: “This proposed standard will provide organisations with guidance on face fit-testing procedures.
“The introduction will mean that organisations can ensure the fit-testing of devices is competently delivered so they can perform their protective function. Once a competent person has been trained, they won’t have to rely on continued support from outside organisations.”
The new standard will guide organisations when establishing and implementing their RPD programme, including letting them know the knowledge and skills necessary for a fit-test operator.
Many people are still exposed to harmful substances on a daily basis. One of the major offenders is respirable crystalline silica (RCS).
Estimates from the Health and Safety Executive put the number of deaths from lung cancer associated with exposure to RCS at around 600 per year. 450 of these occur in the construction sector.
The hope is that with the new standard, a “hierarchy of control” will come into effect, preventing exposure at the source before measures like RPDs are even considered.
Date Published: January 29, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown