NIOSH’s Second Elastomeric Half-Mask Respirator FRN Webinar
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 1:00:00 PM EST – 2:00:00 PM EST
Elastomeric half-mask respirators (EHMRs) are reusable respirators that may be worn in a healthcare setting and supplement the supply of disposable respirators available to healthcare workers. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)—in coordination with the Strategic National Stockpile—posted a Federal Register Notice (FRN) titled “A National Elastomeric Half Mask Respirator (EHMR) Strategy for Use in Healthcare Settings During an Infectious Disease Outbreak/Pandemic”.
Through this FRN, NIOSH is seeking input regarding the national distribution plan of purchased EHMRs, as well as identifying potential organizations interested in receiving a portion of these EHMRs with the commitment to provide a report of user acceptability and feasibility of implementation.
NIOSH is seeking organizations including, but not limited to:
- Hospital systems, individual hospitals, and/or specific hospital units (i.e., emergency department, intensive care units)
- Outpatient care settings (i.e., offices, clinics, home care, urgent care, rehab centers)
- Long term care facilities
- Dental practices
- First responder organizations (i.e., police, fire, EMS)
To learn more about how your organization can participate in this effort, please join us for a second webinar on November 18 from 1:00-2:00pm (ET). NIOSH will provide an overview of EHMRs, a summary of the FRN, expectations of potential participants, the next steps, and answer any questions you may have.
NIOSH Approves First Elastomeric Half Mask Respirator Without an Exhalation Valve
Respirators are an important resource in reducing the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. When workers wear respirators to protect themselves against workplace hazards, they also need to maintain source control to protect others in case they are themselves sick with COVID-19. Concerns were raised that respirators with exhalation valves may allow unfiltered exhaled air to escape into the environment, therefore not offering source control.
NIOSH is working to identify solutions to address exhalation valve concerns in both filtering facepiece respirators and elastomeric half mask respirators (EHMR). Several research studies are underway on this issue.
In parallel with the NIOSH research on exhalation valves, manufacturers have been conducting research and development to produce an elastomeric respirator that addresses the exhalation valve concerns.
To this end, NIOSH has approved the first EHMR without an exhalation valve. This respirator is approved for use with either P95 or P100 particulate filters (NIOSH approval numbers: TC-84A-9260, TC-84A-9261, TC-84A-9256, TC-84A-9257). This EHMR can be used for both personal protection and source control. Exhalation is accomplished through the particulate filters meeting all NIOSH requirements, thereby allowing it to also serve as a means of source control since it will maintain the high level of filtration upon exhalation. This EHMR can be cleaned and disinfected as part of a respiratory protection program’s standard procedures. The particulate filters are available with an integrated splash guard to improve the ease of completing a user seal check, to help protect from liquids, and to aid in wiping down the filter housing with disinfectant.
More information on NIOSH-approved respirators, including the first EHMR without an exhalation value, is available on the NIOSH Certified Equipment List.
Proactive Approach to Weld Fume Management: How to Assess, Plan and be Prepared Amid the New Environment
In an ever-changing environment, stay up to date with the latest information regarding weld fume controls and how to keep your environment clean and compliant.
In this webinar, our experts will navigate OSHA’s Hierarchy of Controls, walking you through key steps and recommendations to implement weld fume solutions in relation to each tier of the hierarchy. They will discuss best practices for weld fume management to help you identify and determine an effective approach plan best suited for your workplace, helping to improve productivity, efficiency and air quality.
Key topics that will be discussed:
- Common base metals and airborne particulates associated with welding
- Factors that can impact operator exposure
- How to identify and assess welding fume particulate in your work environment
- How to mitigate risk following OSHA’s Hierarchy of Controls, considering the most feasible and effective solution options
Short- and long-term benefits of controlling welding fume particulate in your work environment.
IHMM is a member of the National Safety Council and is pleased to share this information with all IHMM certificants.
Beyond COVID Observations to a Culture of Safety
Safety observations are a widely known tool throughout the environmental, health and safety fields. However, this known process is not always implemented in a way that encourages employee engagement. When done in the right way, safety observation processes bolster employee engagement and provide a great repository for leading indicator analysis.
Amid setting up a COVID-19 response plan, your organization may have employed an informal observation program to gather insights from employees to bolster your response.
Many of us were, and are still, in the uncharted territory of handling a viral pandemic and mitigating the risks to employees in the workplace. To ensure the controls are practical and meaningful for the different locations and departments of your business, you required input from the people who best understood how work is performed in their area.
The informal observation program that was used to assist in your COVID-19 response can help fuel the path to a more formalized program post-COVID-19; one in which there is a standardized method for gathering observations (such as software applications), and a defined process for reviewing and acting on the data. Safety observations can be a powerful tool. However, when organizations move to implement a formalized program, there are seven crucial mistakes that can lead to disengagement and disintegration of
your safety culture. Click on the graphic to download this report.
Southeastern Louisiana University is having its semi-annual ASP award ceremony for their graduating seniors.
These graduates have earned a Bachelors’s degree in Occupational Safety, Health, and Environment. While this is normally a formal event COVID has driven Southeastern Louisiana to perform this celebration virtually. IHMM is pleased to be presenting our ASHM program during this ceremony as graduates are eligible for the credential upon graduating and will also receive a discount for the application fee.
The ceremony will be on December 4th, 2020 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Central time. We would like to thank Southeastern Louisiana University for this opportunity and Mr. Jan Rosenberg as the presenter for the ASHM program.
IHMM/HMS Coronavirus Resources
In February of 2020, the World Health Organization’s director-general has declared a public health emergency of international concern over the ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus. On March 13, 2020 President Trump declared a national emergency for the United States. IHMM and HMS’ first concern is with the safety and health of all of us; our staff and families, colleagues, certificants and members. We will update this page regularly as credible, authoritative information is available.
INFORMATION FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS, PUBLIC HEALTH PROFESSIONALS, AND LABORATORIES.
HMS Launches Jobs Board
We invite our participating companies to post their available employment opportunities here. There is no charge for this service. HMS staff reviews each proposed posting for clarity and completeness before posting to the public view and may remove a posting without notice.
Member Benefits of Hazardous Materials Society
81% of IHMM certificants are aware of the Hazardous Materials Society, which we appreciate. IHMM established the Hazardous Materials Society in order to support and provide services to IHMM certificants.
Did You Know?
Your company’s membership dues for Associate Membership in the Hazardous Materials Society (HMS) are 100% tax-deductible and your participation directly supports scholarship and education/training opportunities for professionals working in hazmat and EHS. Joining as an Associate Member expresses your commitment and your company’s leadership in giving back to our professional community. Join today to claim your tax deduction for the 2020 tax year while expressing your company’s professional affiliation and accessing tools for your marketing and business development plans.
To learn more about what HMS is doing now and what they are planning for the future, please see the new Member Benefits page here.