OSHA Releases Expanded Temporary Enforcement Guidance on Respiratory Protection Fit-Testing for N95 Filtering Facepieces

On April 8, 2020, OSHA released an expanded temporary enforcement guidance on respiratory protection fit testing for N95 filtering facepieces that applies to all industries during the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

This new guidance expands an earlier guidance, published in mid-May, that applied only to the healthcare industry.

Please read the new, expanded guidance to learn more.

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Online Respirator Training: Online Courses, Free Online Word Game, FAQs, and More

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OSHA puts out a list of the ten most commonly cited standard violations every year. Here’s a list of OSHA’s Top Ten, 2016. Respiratory Protection is on that list this year, and so we’ve got some online respirator training resources for you in this article–plus more.

Many of the same standards appear on the list again and again (that’s true of respiratory protection, by the way). And as a result, we’ve pulled together a series of blogs to help you train your workers about each of the ten most cited standards. Below, we’ve got a bunch of materials to help with respirator training.

Let us know if you’ve got some other resources you’d suggest. The comments field awaits.

Before you dig into the information about respirator training below, feel free to check out our short sample video that demonstrates a few highlights of our safety and health courses.

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CDC Recommendations on Making & Wearing Cloth Face Covers for COVID-19

If you’re keeping track of everything in a fast-changing situation, you know the US CDC is now recommending that people wear cloth face masks (not N95 respirators) while in public to help prevent transmission of the novel COVID-19 virus.

The CDC says this is largely because they believe the face masks will help prevent people who are infected from spreading that infection to others by catching respiratory droplets and not letting them spread.

Keep in mind if you’re wearing a face mask, you still need to practice other safety and health measures related to COVID-19, including stay home when you can and maintaining your social distancing of six feet or more (see this article for more on the six-foot rule).

You’ll also have to keep in mind some new rules related to wearing the face mask, including washing your hands carefully before you put it on; not touching the face mask once you’ve got it on; wearing it correctly; removing it properly without touching your face; and washing it after each use.

To learn more about creating your own face mask, wearing one, and otherwise using it in a safe and healthy manner, see this special webpage from the CDC.

Stay safe, friends!

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FMEA: What Is Failure Mode & Effects Analysis?

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A failure mode and effects analysis, commonly known as FMEA, is a way to analyze the different ways a system, design, machine, component, process, product, or service can fail and the effects of those different potential failures.

The FMEA is recorded on an FMEA worksheet.

We’ll explain more about this technique commonly used in many industries in this introductory article. Stay tuned in the future, as we’ll probably also create a free downloadable FMEA worksheet for you.

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Home Safety Tips: Second Free Coronavirus/COVID-19 Video from Vector Solutions & Vector Cares

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As we’re all struggling to respond to and protect ourselves during the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, our parent company Vector Solutions has been creating a series of free videos on COVID-19 and releasing them at their Vector Cares website.

The first video explained some basic facts about COVID-19.

They just released the second video, which provides tips for preparing your home to stay safer.

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Vector Solutions Recognizes 2020 “Safety Champions” in Tampa

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Vector Solutions honored a select group of exceptional men and women for their special dedication to reducing risk in the workplace during a recognition event March 12 in Tampa, Florida.

These Safety Champions were nominated by peers, co-workers and others for going above and beyond to make their workplaces happier, healthier, safer places to be. Our honorees hailed from a variety of industries, including industrial manufacturing, construction, water treatment  and others. Below you’ll find excerpts from those nominations.

Read on to learn more about all of these safety champions. And congrats and thanks to all of them, plus everyone working in safety.

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6 Tips for Facilitating Behavior Change During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Simply giving people information or telling them what to do does not guarantee behavior change.

That’s partly because we often know what we’re supposed to do but do something else anyway. It can be hard to change, plus sometimes we’re not motivated to change.

Change has been a big part of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. There have been deaths (rest their souls), people have gotten seriously ill, but even those who think they’re healthy have seen many changes. Losing a job or working from home; staying at home and staying six feet away from other people for social distancing; giving up hugs and handshakes; not touching your face; washing your hands constantly; none of this is easy.

If you’re trying to help people make these changes, you might find six tips from a book called Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath helpful. In it, they offer six things that help people change their behavior more than just telling them to will. Those are:

  1. Simplicity
  2. Unexpectedness
  3. Concreteness
  4. Credibility
  5. Emotions
  6. Stories

To remember these, there’s a handy acronym: SUCCES(s).

Here’s a quick review of each.

Simplicity: Keep the message as short and simple as possible. Can you explain in 30 seconds instead of 12 minutes? Do it.

Unexpectedness: Surprise will catch people’s attention. Today, a story about a young person dying of COVID-19 or getting sick and needing a respirator may catch people’s attention more than a story about someone in their 80s.

Concreteness: Use details and descriptive language to convey the message. Avoid being vague or abstract. An invisible virus that people can pass even when they’re showing no symptoms is already vague enough. Focus on painful, dry coughs and crushing pain on the lungs, for example.

Credibility: People are more likely to listen if they know the message is coming from an expert or authority. If you’re not an authority, at least tell people your information is from an authority. But if you can get an authority, do it. Or if you can include a video of an authority, such as the head of the CDC, do it.

Emotions: Facts, data, and information are not likely to catch people’s attention or cause behavior change. Making them a little frightened about the effects of the virus (not panicked, but frightened) or sad about how it’s affecting people is more likely to work.

Stories: We’re natural story-listening machines. Take advantage of that by using stories in your training about COVID-19. Avoid simple lists of facts and data and/or lectures. And when you tell stories, use the other five tips just mentioned (simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, and emotions). Click to read more about storytelling in training.

Using these six tips in your training about COVID-19, or even in trying to help out family and friends, will improve your chances of creating real behavior change. And that’s what we need–not just information dumps. Good luck and share your success stories below–we need them!

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OSHA Basics: (Nearly) Everything You Always Wanted to Know about OSHA–but were afraid to ask

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If you’re new to the safety profession, or even if you’ve been around a while, you may have a few questions about the US Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).

We may not have ALL the answers for you here, but we think we’ve got a lot of the common OSHA FAQs along with helpful answers and links to additional helpful OSHA-related resources.

Of course, if we’ve missed a specific OSHA-related question that you were hoping to get answered please use the comments section below the article and we’ll try to get you an answer as well as add that question to our list of FAQs.

And since you’ve found your way to an article about all-thing-OSHA, you might want to download our free guide to OSHA General Industry Compliance

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Dealing with Change During the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic

During this coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, we’re all being forced to change. And change isn’t always easy for people.

Not that long ago, and in entirely different circumstances, I talked with Arun Pradhan about anticipating, dealing with, facilitating, and benefitting from change. Of course, the circumstances are entirely different now, but there were still some useful tips that came up in the conversation that we thought would help people better adjust to the changing circumstances as a result of COVID-19.

Check out the entire discussion if you wish, or read on for some highlights and tips you may be able to apply today.

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OSHA’s New Temporary Enforcement Guidance – Healthcare Respiratory Protection Annual Fit-Testing for N95 Filtering Facepieces During the COVID-19 Outbreak

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Here’s another in our continuing series of “Coronavirus Basics” articles, in which we’re trying to offer helpful information to folks trying to figure a whole bunch of stuff having to do with working during the coronavirus pandemic.

In this one, we want to give you a quick FYI that OSHA recently released a new Temporary Enforcement Guidance – Healthcare Respiratory Protection Annual Fit-Testing for N95 Filtering Facepieces During the COVID-19 Outbreak.

It’s not too long, so do yourself a favor and click the link above and get the straight information directly from OSHA.

OK, are you done reading the full thing? Here’s a quick summary of what caught our attention, below.

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