Conserving Filtering Facepiece Respirator Provide


Viewers: This steerage is meant to be used through the coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) public well being emergency by federal, state, and native public well being officers, respiratory safety program managers, leaders in occupational well being companies and industrial hygiene packages, and different leaders who’re answerable for creating and implementing insurance policies and procedures for stopping occupational exposures in non-healthcare worksites.

Goal: This doc presents methods to preserve, lengthen, and reply to shortages within the provide of NIOSH-approved filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) utilized in non-healthcare worksites similar to manufacturing and building. NIOSH-approved FFRs defend customers by filtering particles out of the air the person is respiration and embody a number of courses of filters, together with N95s.

The next methods apply the rules of the hierarchy of controls and are meant to help employers in deciding on methods to manage office exposures throughout instances of identified provide shortages attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods 1 and a pair of reinforce employer necessities for the continual analysis and implementation of conventional hazard management practices similar to elimination, substitution, engineering and administration controls. Different methods described herein embody sure allowances similar to use of FFRs past the manufacturer-designated shelf life to be included into observe solely throughout instances of provide shortages through the COVID-19 public well being emergency.

A secondary goal is to scale back the demand for FFRs generally business settings through the COVID-19 response in order that (1) FFR producers and distributors can maximize provides to healthcare settings and (2) normal business worksites can consider if any extra inventories they might maintain are appropriate for redistributing (e.g., promoting, donating) to healthcare settings. Employers ought to think about redistribution of extra inventories provided that sufficient publicity controls for his or her employees are carried out. For steerage to forestall office exposures to acute respiratory sicknesses, together with COVID-19, please see CDC’s Interim Steerage for Companies and Employers.


The increasing outbreak of COVID-19 in the USA has created an amazing demand for private protecting gear (PPE), together with NIOSH-approved FFRs, in healthcare amenities throughout the nation. Moreover, the availability chains of PPE from manufacturing nations have been considerably disrupted resulting from native COVID-19 unfold and demand. Due to this enhance in demand and reduce in provide, CDC has offered steerage to healthcare settings for methods to optimize their provide of N95 respirators. This steerage describes surge capability for healthcare amenities offering care in typical, contingency, and disaster conditions. The selections to implement measures for healthcare amenities in contingency and disaster conditions are based mostly, partly, on the provision of N95 respirators, particularly, and different sorts of respirators, generally.

In recognition of the demand for FFRs within the healthcare setting and the precedence to guard healthcare employees who’re the employees at highest threat for COVID-19, the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration has issued two emergency use authorizationsexterior icon to permit FFRs not sometimes worn in healthcare settings to be worn. This will scale back the provision of those FFRs for different worksites.

Customers of NIOSH-approved FFRs in non-healthcare settings ought to develop and implement methods to preserve and lengthen their present inventory of respirator provides whereas defending their employees through the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers ought to implement different controls to scale back, as a lot as attainable, their reliance on PPE, significantly FFRs. Conventionally, a hierarchy of controls has been used to offer possible and efficient controls to guard employees. A number of management methods might be carried out concurrently and/or sequentially. This hierarchy might be described as follows:

  • Elimination
  • Substitution
  • Engineering controls
  • Administrative controls
  • Private protecting gear (PPE)

Elimination and Substitution

Employers ought to consider work duties and processes to establish these actions or processes the place the elimination or substitution of hazards could also be carried out. Whereas the simplest at controlling hazards, these will be the most tough to implement in present processes, significantly throughout instances of nationwide or native emergencies.

Engineering Controls

Engineering controls scale back employees’ exposures by putting a barrier between the hazard and the employee or eradicating the hazard on the supply. Whereas the preliminary value of engineering controls might be greater than the price of administrative controls or PPE, engineering controls typically present a value financial savings over the long run and may get rid of the necessity for respirators if correctly designed, carried out, and maintained. Examples for consideration consists of:

  • Native exhaust air flow
  • Moist strategies (when water is sprayed on a dusty floor or when a fabric is combined with water to forestall aerosolization)
  • Glove bins, cupboards, or different enclosures for isolation of the hazard

Administrative Controls

Administrative controls are used with present processes to restrict or forestall a hazard by altering the best way folks work. Examples embody:

  • Job rotation wherein employees change job duties or areas to scale back their exposures and the must be in respiratory safety
  • Establishing insurance policies and implementing procedures limiting the period of time that a person employee can work on a selected job activity or in areas with excessive exposures
  • Coaching employees on the hazards and controls out there to scale back exposures
  • Putting in warning labels and indicators to remind employees to keep away from hazardous job duties or areas

Private Protecting Gear

Whereas engineering and administrative controls ought to be thought of first when implementing controls, PPE might be a part of a collection of methods used to guard employees. PPE consists of respirators, protecting gloves, protecting eyewear and face shields, and quite a lot of different protecting gear. PPE is often used with present processes the place hazards usually are not significantly well-controlled. This technique for safeguarding employees is usually much less efficient than different measures because of the reliance on the person to placed on, use, and take off the PPE appropriately and the potential for PPE breaches. Moreover, correct use of respiratory safety requires a complete program (together with medical clearance, coaching, and match testing) that complies with OSHA’s Respiratory Safety Normalexterior icon.

In instances of excessive demand and low provide of PPE because of the COVID-19 pandemic, non-healthcare sector employers ought to consider present work practices and management methods to create a strategic publicity prevention and management plan to proceed to guard employees. As a part of such a plan, methods for employers to contemplate are prioritized beneath. These measures are really useful to preserve and lengthen their FFR provide and to reply to shortages of manufacturer-supplied FFRs through the COVID-19 pandemic. The Occupational Security and Well being Administration (OSHA) has additionally offered steerageexterior icon on many of those measures associated to their enforcement of the Respiratory Safety Normal, 29 CFR 1910.134exterior icon, and sure different well being requirements, with regard to provide shortages of disposable N95 FFRs.

The next measures emphasize engineering and administrative controls to implement for publicity prevention and management plans and to scale back reliance on FFRs

  1. Consider and execute long-term methods for the elimination and substitution of hazards and the implementation of engineering controls for processes wherein FFRs are at present required.
    1. NIOSH engineering management methods are outlined for quite a lot of industries and hazards on-line
    2. Trade- and process-specific management methods are detailed by the British Well being and Security Govt as part of the Management of Substances Hazardous to Well being (COSHH) Necessitiesexterior icon and can be found on-line
  2. Implement instantly possible engineering and administrative controls to get rid of or reduce exposures for which employers are at present requiring using FFRs. These controls ought to be routinely evaluated to make sure they proceed to manage exposures to acceptable ranges and embody:
    1. Transferring work to inside ventilated enclosures similar to fume hoods and organic security cupboards.
    2. Modifying the processes to scale back exposures, similar to placing dry supplies right into a moist slurry to scale back the potential for publicity.
    3. Suspending non-essential work requiring using FFRs.
    4. Limiting the variety of employees needing respirators to the minimal required to soundly full the duty.
    5. Arranging work/manufacturing schedules to scale back the variety of respirators wanted.

The next measures could require modifications in day by day commonplace respiratory safety practices however could not have vital influence and could also be used briefly during times of anticipated FFR shortages

  1. Use qualitative strategies to suit take a look at employees for FFRsexterior icon. Quantitative match take a look at strategies require consuming FFRs through the match take a look at, whereas qualitative don’t. As such, qualitative match testing strategies would preserve FFRs for use for controlling office exposures.
  2. Transition respiratory safety packages to make use of NIOSH-approved options to FFRs, the place possible. NIOSH maintains a searchable, on-line model of the licensed gear checklist figuring out all NIOSH-approved respirators. Alternate options to FFRs, so as of choice to implement at non-healthcare worksites in an effort to protect as many N95s as attainable for healthcare settings, embody:
    1. Elastomeric half facepiece air-purifying respirators: tight-fitting respirators which might be fabricated from artificial or rubber materials allowing them to be repeatedly disinfected, cleaned, and reused. They’re outfitted with exchangeable filter cartridges.
    2. Elastomeric full facepiece air-purifying respirators: Just like the elastomeric half facepiece respirator, the elastomeric full facepiece respirator is a reusable system that makes use of exchangeable filter cartridges however has a transparent plastic lens that covers the face and gives eye safety.
    3. Powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs): reusable respirators that sometimes have loose-fitting hoods or helmets. These respirators are battery-powered with a blower that pulls air by means of hooked up filters or cartridges. The filter is usually a excessive effectivity (HE) filter. Unfastened-fitting PAPRs don’t require match testing and might be worn by folks with facial hair.
  3. When non-PPE controls can’t feasibly be carried out and when no different respirators to FFRs might be obtained, preserve present FFR provides on-hand by extending the employer’s schedule for when they’re disposed and changed.
    1. For corporations with insurance policies permitting the common disposal and substitute of N95s and different FFRs, prolonged use of those FFRs past regular change-out schedules, when acceptable, may also be thought of. The choice to implement insurance policies that allow prolonged use of FFRs ought to be made by the professionals who handle the establishment’s respiratory safety program. Standards for disposing and changing FFRs embody when respiration by means of the filter materials turns into too restricted slightly than merely disposing of them on a repeatedly scheduled foundation similar to after a single shift. In such instances, correct coaching on storage of used respirators is required.
  4. Use FFRs past the manufacturer-designated shelf life for coaching and match testing.
    1. In instances of scarcity, you might be able to use FFRs past the manufacturer-designated shelf life for coaching and match testing functions. Nonetheless, expired respirators may not carry out to the necessities for which they have been licensed. Over time, parts such because the strap and filter materials could degrade, which might have an effect on the standard of the match and seal. Utilizing such respirators for coaching and match testing would permit non-expired N95 FFRs for use for regular work operations.
  5. Use respirators authorised below requirements utilized in different nations which might be much like NIOSH-approved FFRs. (See Desk 1.)
    1. Inside Desk 1, the nation, conformity evaluation requirements, requirements and steerage paperwork, acceptable product classification, and NIOSH classification are offered in alphabetical order. All of those respirators have safety components of no less than 10 within the nations listed within the desk, as outlined within the requirements and steerage paperwork specified. NIOSH has confidence that units provided by present NIOSH-approval holders producing respirators below the varied requirements approved in different nations are anticipated to offer the safety indicated, given {that a} correct match is achieved. Non-NIOSH-approved merchandise developed by producers who usually are not NIOSH approval holders, together with these authorised by and acquired from China, ought to solely be utilized in disaster conditions when no different NIOSH-approved N95 respirator or a listed system from one of many different acknowledged nations is out there. To make sure this stage of confidence, NIOSH has developed an evaluation to judge the filter effectivity of respirators from different nations. NIOSH is joyful to conduct the testing for you and supply you the outcomes of the testing. The webpages to request respirator assessments can be found.

The next measures could must be thought of during times of identified respirator shortages

  1. Use FFRs past the manufacturer-designated shelf life for work operations.
    1. Consideration might be made to make use of FFRs past the manufacturer-designated shelf life for work operations when no different controls or respiratory safety can be found. Respirators past the manufacturer-designated shelf life could not carry out to the necessities for which they have been licensed. Over time, parts such because the straps and nostril bridge materials could degrade, which might have an effect on the standard of the match and seal. Many fashions present in U.S. stockpiles have been discovered to proceed to carry out in accordance with NIOSH efficiency requirements. Customers ought to take the next precautionary measures previous to utilizing the respirator within the office.
      1. Visually examine the FFR to find out if its integrity has been compromised.
      2. Examine that parts such because the straps, nostril bridge, and nostril foam materials didn’t degrade, which might have an effect on the standard of the match and seal and due to this fact the effectiveness of the respirator.
      3. If the integrity of any a part of the respirator is compromised, discard the respirator and check out one other respirator.
      4. Customers ought to carry out a person seal test instantly after they don every respirator and mustn’t use a respirator on which they can’t carry out a profitable person seal test.
  1. When the above management steps usually are not possible, FFR and better ranges of respiratory safety are unavailable, and different respiratory safety methods usually are not attainable, it is strongly recommended that work actions requiring such safety be suspended.

Employers who efficiently implement methods for conserving and lengthening their FFR provides through the COVID-19 pandemic could discover that they possess extra inventories. It is suggested that employers think about redistributing (e.g., promoting, donating) out there extra inventories to healthcare settings through the COVID-19 pandemic to assist scale back identified shortages of respirators. Worksites which might be not lively resulting from emergency work stoppages and restrictions are inspired to contemplate redistributing their extra PPE and match take a look at kits to their state medical countermeasure contacts, the Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA)exterior icon, or by means of different applicable channels. Non-healthcare employers who purchased giant portions of respirators within the months previous the disaster ought to think about if they’re prepared to redistribute (e.g., promote, donate) these respirators for healthcare use.

Desk 1. Respirators Accredited Beneath Requirements Utilized in Different International locations That Are Just like NIOSH-Accredited N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators

Respirators Accredited Beneath Requirements Utilized in Different International locations That Are Just like NIOSH-Accredited N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators
Nation Efficiency Normal Acceptable Product Classification Could Be Utilized in Lieu of NIOSH-Licensed Merchandise Labeled as
Australia AS/NZS 1716:2012 P2 N95
P3 N99 or decrease
Brazil ABNT/NBR 13698:2011 PFF2 N95
PFF3 N99 or decrease
Folks’s Republic of China GB 2626-2006

GB 2626-2019


KN/KP95 N95
KN/KP100 N95
Europe EN 149-2001 P2 N95
P3 N99 or decrease
Japan JMHLW-2000 DS/DL2 N95
DS/DL3 N99 or decrease
Korea KMOEL-2017-64 Particular 1st N95
Mexico NOM-116-2009 N95 N95
R95 R95 or decrease
P95 P95 or decrease
N99 N99 or decrease
R99 R99 or decrease
P99 P99 or decrease
N100 N100 or decrease
R100 R100 or decrease
P100 P100 or decrease

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