OSHA Issues New Enforcement Guidance for Respiratory Protection & the N95 Shortage

On Friday, April 3, ISRI received notice from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that there will be new enforcement guidance for respiratory protection and the N95 shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ISRI will monitor this guidance and track it for any changes in the future. We hope that recyclers find this information useful. 

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued new Enforcement Guidance for Respiratory Protection and the N95 Shortage Due to the Coronavirus Diseas 2019 (COVID19) Pandemic. This memorandum provides interim guidance to Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) for enforcing the Respiratory Protection standard, 29 CFR § 1910.134, and certain other health standards, with regard to supply shortages of disposable N95 filtering facepiece respirators. Specifically, it outlines enforcement discretion to permit the extended use and reuse of respirators, as well as the use of respirators that are beyond their manufacturer's recommended shelf life (sometimes referred to as "expired"). This guidance applies in all industries and will also be highlighted on the OSHA COVID-19 webpage.

For further information about COVID-19, please visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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