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Breathing easy

ST. PAUL, MN -- Larry Janssen, a certified industrial hygienist with 3M Occupational Health and Environmental Safety Division, said that makers of respiratory protective equipment, or RPE, often act a...


November 1, 1999
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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ST. PAUL, MN — Larry Janssen, a certified industrial hygienist with 3M Occupational Health and Environmental Safety Division, said that makers of respiratory protective equipment, or RPE, often act as mediators between federal regulating agencies and employers. “We provide training to program managers, so as to improve their understanding of regulatory and equipment changes.” Among other tasks, industrial hygienists wade through the reams of published standards and data produced yearly by federal government agencies like OSHA and NIOSH. For instance, in 1998 OSHA revised its respirator standard (42 CFR 1910.134), which made significant amendments to the change schedules for chemical cartridges used against gas and vapors. In the past, OSHA required users to change chemical cartridges when there was so-called chemical breakthrough — when the wearer could taste or smell the gas or vapor. Now, OSHA requires employers to develop change schedules based on documented previous use patterns. But according to 3M, most employers fail to do so, citing little easy-to-use published information. That is when industrial hygienists can be helpful.

Circle Reader Service No. 4.

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