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OSHA to exercise "executive discretion" on masks



The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued Temporary Operating Instructions to Release Respiratory Equipment Requirements for Certain Workers to be tested and issued personal protective equipment approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

In a memo dated October 2, OSHA stated that it will exercise "executive discretion" for healthcare professionals or "all other workers with high or very high exposure risk activities", such as rescue workers, residential workers and laboratory workers, "due to of lack of supply "of required and approved masks and adaptation tests for deliveries due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Five-page memos describe alternatives to the NIOSH-approved masks that "should be used under contingency and crisis response strategies that also involve increased use. Such as decontamination and reuse."

OSHA said that it will "from case to case" exercise executive discretion when considering the issuance of quotations "in cases where the employer has provided protection but still finds annual pass testing" impossible due to a shortage "of certain supplies; has" monitored fit-testing deliveries and made good faith efforts to obtain fit- testing supplies "; has implemented" as far as possible "technical controls, working methods and / or administrative controls that reduce the need for respiratory protection, such as using partitions and restricting access; and maintained a fully compatible respiratory protection program.

More insurance and work compensation news about the coronavirus crisis here .

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