IOSH News

Have your say on respiratory protective devices standard

A proposed new standard around respiratory protective devices (RPDs) has reached the draft consultation stage – and IOSH members are being invited to share their views.

A worker using a respiratory protective device
A worker using a respiratory protective device

It is intended that ISO 16975 will provide organisations with advice on the selection, use and maintenance of RPDs, to help protect employees from harmful exposures at work.

IOSH Chartered Fellow Charles Tracey is the convenor of the technical committee, which is responsible for drafting the standard. 

He said: “This proposed standard, ISO 16975 part three, will provide organisations with guidance on face fit-testing procedures. 

“The introduction of this standard will mean that organisations can ensure the fit-testing of devices is competently delivered so they can perform their protective function. Once a competent person has been trained, they won’t have to rely on continued support from outside organisations.

“IOSH members now have an opportunity to comment on the draft. This is a very important standard and I would encourage them to send their thoughts to us.”

The new standard would contain reference to guidance for organisations on establishing and implementing an RPD programme. This would include information on the knowledge and skills which are necessary for a fit-test operator.

It is hoped that the standard will be published by early 2018.

Unfortunately, employees around the world and across industries are exposed to substances which are harmful to their health on a daily basis, including respirable crystalline silica. It is essential that the ‘hierarchy of control’ is applied, with a focus on preventing exposure at source before further measures including RPDs are considered.  

IOSH members should send their comments to consultation@iosh.co.uk by Sunday 5 February. More information on the draft is available here

 

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