NIOSH Extends Transition Period for Respirator Certification Standard
A final rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) allows for the extension of the transition period for a 2012 final rule establishing a new standard for the certification of closed-circuit escape respirators (CCERs) by NIOSH. The standards established in the 2012 final rule were originally designed to take effect over a three-year transition period, during which manufacturers were allowed to continue to manufacture, label, and sell respirators certified to the prior standards until April 9, 2015. The new rule allows NIOSH to extend the concluding date for the transition until one year after the agency first approves a CCER model under the capacity rating categories Cap 1 mining, Cap 3 mining, and Cap 3 non-mining. According to the Federal Register notice, the extension will “allow manufacturers to obtain NIOSH approval, establish production capacity, and complete the modification of existing CCER designs, if necessary, or develop new designs that comply with the new testing and certification requirements.” The extension will also help ensure that a constant supply of approved CCERs remains available for purchase. The new rule became effective on Aug. 12, 2015. For more information, see the Federal Register notice.