Frances Burrows M.Ed.,RN,COHN-S an Authorized OSHA Instructor at Project T.E.A.C.H. at 216-382-5875 for your compliance needs.
NIOSH Conformity Assessment Interpretation Notice
Subject: NIOSH Respirator Approval Programs updated position regarding facial hair and the selection and use of respiratory protective devices
Revised Supersedes the August 2018 version and the October 2, 2006 Letter to All Respirator Manufacturers
NIOSH CA 2018-1005R1.0
NIOSH published this notice to clarify the October 2, 2006 NIOSH Letter to all Manufacturers titled: NIOSH Policy for Respirator Sealing Surfaces and Facial Hair. This revised notice clarifies the NIOSH definition of respirator sealing surfaces, including the primary seal, and facial stubble. This revised notice supersedes the October 2, 2006 letter and the August 2018 version of NIOSH CA 2018-1005.
Specific to the evaluations completed as part of the NIOSH Respirator Approval Program, and testing to assess the fit characteristics of all respirator designs, NIOSH test subjects are required to be clean- shaven in order to participate on the test panel selected.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Respiratory Protection Standard 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.134 paragraph (g)(1)(i) states, The employer shall not permit respirators with tight-fitting facepieces to be worn by employees who have: (A) Facial hair that comes between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face or that interferes with valve function; or (B) Any condition that interferes with the face-to-facepiece seal or valve function.