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OSHA offers guide to stockpiling masks, respirators

first_img The draft guidance describes the capabilities and limitations of each type of protection and lists a range of respirator options, including pros and cons for each type. For example, OSHA advises employers who plan on supplying employees with respiratory protection throughout a pandemic to consider reusable respirators. Ideally, employees’ exposure risk should be estimated as part of a workplace pandemic flu plan, OHSA recommends. Employers also should estimate the number of employees who fall into each risk level. The proposed guidance lists stockpiling estimates for individual employees in a range of medium- to high-risk jobs, listing numbers of masks or respirators by work shift and a theoretical pandemic duration (about 120 work days). For example, a retail-store employee might need two masks per shift and 240 for the duration of a pandemic, whereas a nurse in an outpatient clinic might need four N95 respirators per shift and 480 to cover the whole pandemic. The proposed stockpiling recommendations use the same four-level workplace risk pyramid that appears in the broader pandemic planning recommendations. For example, healthcare employees who perform aerosol-generating procedures would be classified as having a “very high” risk, while an office employee who has little contact with the public would fall into the “lower exposure” risk category. (OSHA does not recommend masks and respirators for lower-exposure work environments.) OSHA includes rough cost estimates for each type of equipment, which range from up to 20 cents per mask to as much as $1,200 for a powered air-purifying respirator. For healthcare workers who have a very high exposure risk, OSHA recommends that in setting stockpiling goals, employers consider the number of daily aerosol-generating procedures each employee might assist with. In February 2007, the DOL and the Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance on preparing workplaces for an influenza pandemic. The DOL, in its report yesterday, said it would publish a final version of its stockpiling guidance as an appendix to the earlier recommendations. Request for comments instructions and link Receiving a pandemic vaccine would not modify an employee’s need for a mask or respirator. Community mitigation efforts would reduce illness rates in communities to about 15%. Finally, OSHA advises healthcare employers to factor masks for patients with flu-like illnesses into stockpiling plans to contain the virus and protect employees. The document, issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), offers tips on estimating the needed quantity and resulting costs of the equipment on the basis of employees’ exposure risks. The DOL said it is seeking public comment on the proposed guidance. Instructions for submitting comments appeared in the Federal Register on May 9; the deadline is July 8, 2008. May 14, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Labor (DOL) yesterday released proposed guidance on stockpiling respirators and facemasks in the workplace, which encourages employers to stockpile the items because of the likelihood that they will run short during an influenza pandemic. The equipment will be used only during local pandemic waves and during work tasks that might expose employees to people who might be ill. Surgical face masks protect wearers from hazards such as splashes of large droplets of blood or bodily fluids and also trap large respiratory droplets expelled by the wearer, the OSHA document notes. They are inexpensive and typically fit fairly loosely. In contrast, respirators are thicker masks that are designed to fit tightly to the face and block small airborne particles. They must be specially fitted for the wearer. Recognizing that uncertainty about the pandemic severity is a challenge for pandemic planners, OSHA recommends using a few assumptions to ease the setting of stockpiling goals: OSHA’s proposed guidance on workplace stockpiling of respirators and facemasks See also: Feb 8, 2007, CIDRAP News story “New OSHA guidance targets pandemic flu”last_img read more

Grenada’s Kirani James ‘recovering nicely’ – agent

first_img2012 Olympic 400-metre champion Kirani James is said to be recovering well from an illness that had sidelined him since April.The 24-year-old Grenadian, who was second to Wayde van Niekerk in the 400m at the Olympic Game in Rio last summer, had been sidelined since April with what is believed to be respiratory illness that saw him finish a disappointing sixth at the Drake Relays in April in a pedestrian 46.21s.His coach Harvey Glance told Sportsmax.tv following that underwhelming performance, that James’ season was being ‘put on hold’.“Anyone who has followed his illustrious career can tell he is not 100 per cent,” Glance said then in response to SportsMax.tv’s queries. “His season is on hold for now till we get him back to that point.”However, based on information recently received from James’ handlers, the athlete is back in training. “At this time we are pleased to report that he is recovering nicely from his illness,” said Seth Katz of AMG Property Sports Incorporated in an email responding to SportsMax.tv’s request for an update. He offered no additional information.James has had a relatively ordinary start to the 2017 season. At the Grenada Invitational on April 8, James was less than convincing while winning the 400 metres in 45.44s but was upstaged by Bahamian Steve Gardiner, who won the ‘B’ race in a world-leading 44.26.In Iowa he was even slower and was sidelined in an effort to get him back to full fitness. (Sportsmax)last_img read more