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The Personal Protective Technology Program at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
IMPLEMENT AND SUSTAIN A COMPREHENSIVENATIONAL PPT PROGRAM
Recommendation 1: Implement and Sustain a Comprehensive NationalPersonal Protective Technology Program
NIOSH should work to ensure the implementation of the 2001 congressionalmandate for a comprehensive state-of-the-art federal program focused onpersonal protective technology. A comprehensive program would build onthe current NIOSH PPT Program and would bring unified responsibilityand oversight to all PPT-related activity at NIOSH. The National PersonalProtective Technology Program should
Oversee, coordinate, and where appropriate, conduct research acrossall types of occupational PPT and across all relevant occupations andworkplaces;
Participate in policy development and standards setting across all typesof occupational PPT;
Oversee all PPT certification in order to ensure a minimum uniformstandard of protection and wearability. The National Program shouldcollaborate with other relevant government agencies, private-sectororganizations, and not-for-profit organizations to conduct an assessment of the certification mechanisms needed to ensure the efficacy ofall types of PPT; and
Promote the development, standards setting, and certification of effectively integrated PPT components and ensembles in which multipletypes of PPT (e.g., eye protection, hearing protection, respirators) canbe effectively and seamlessly worn together.
The committee was struck by the discordance between the congressional mandate1 to establish the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory
Senate Report 106-293 stated “It has been brought to the Committee’s attention the need for design, testing and state-of-the-art equipment for this nation’s 50 million miners, firefighters, healthcare, agricultural and industrial workers…. The Committee encourages NIOSH to carry out research, testing and related activities aimed at protecting workers, who respond to public health needs in the event of a terrorist incident. The Committee encourages CDC [the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] to organize and implement a national personal protective equipment laboratory.”