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OSHA Seeks Insight on Stockpiling Respirators, Facemasks for Pandemic Flu

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  • OSHA Seeks Insight on Stockpiling Respirators, Facemasks for Pandemic Flu

    OSHA Seeks Insight on Stockpiling Respirators, Facemasks for Pandemic Flu

    May 12, 2008

    OSHA is inviting comments on its document entitled "Proposed Guidance on Workplace Stockpiling of Respirators and Facemasks for Pandemic Influenza." The agency is particularly interested in addressing the following questions:
    • Is the guidance clear and useful in helping employers determine if they should stockpile respirators and/or facemasks for their employees and the quantity of each device that should be stockpiled?
    • Are there any parts of the guidance that are not clear and if so, how can they be clarified?
    • Do the underlying assumptions used to estimate stockpiling needs, as well as cost estimates, for various types of facemasks and respirators, appear to be appropriate?
    • If you have already addressed stockpiling needs for your facility, could you please provide your underlying assumptions and methodology?
    • Are employers that should stockpile respirators and/or facemasks currently stockpiling these devices and if not, how can the guidance be modified to encourage them to begin stockpiling?
    The Proposed Guidance will be made available on OSHA's Web site ( and through its publications office. For more information, visit Comments must be submitted by July 8.

  • #2
    Re: OSHA Seeks Insight on Stockpiling Respirators, Facemasks for Pandemic Flu

    From the link... (I wonder where they get these good prices )?

    Example of Stockpiling Needs and Comparative Costs for a Single High Exposure Risk Employee
    As previously discussed in Table 1: Advantages and Disadvantages of Respirators and Facemasks, each type of respirator offers different advantages and disadvantages that may aid in selecting an appropriate respirator for the work environment. Below is a comparison of three different options for providing respiratory protection and estimates of cost for each option.

    Option 1 - Using disposable N95 respirators:
    480 N95:s @ $0.50/respirator = $240 per employee protected

    Option 2 - Using reusable elastomeric respirators:
    1 respirator @ $25 + 3 sets of filters @ $5 set = $40 per employee protected

    Option 3 - Using 1 PAPRs shared by 4 employees on shift work:
    1 PAPR @ $800 + 1 spare battery @$160 + 3 extra hoods @ $90 each + 3 sets of filters @ $30 set = $1,320 / 4 employees = $330 per employee protected

    (Note: hooded PAPRs do not need to be fit tested which can result in other programmatic cost savings)

    Stockpiling Estimates for Facemasks for Use by Ill Patients
    Hospital (inpatient) 2 per patient per day
    Essential visitors 3 per visitor per day
    Emergency Rooms 1 per ill person
    Outpatient office/clinic 2 per patient visit
    Long term care 1 per patient per day
    Home healthcare 1 per patient visit
    Emergency medical services 1 per ill person

    First responders
    Law enforcement 1 per ill person
    Corrections 2 per ill inmate per day
    Fire department (non-EMS, career and volunteer) 1 per ill person
    The salvage of human life ought to be placed above barter and exchange ~ Louis Harris, 1918