Personal Protective Technology Conformity Assessment in the United States: Federal Activities and Perspective
D'Alessandro, Maryann Marie
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A recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report presented various perspectives regarding the appropriate levels of assurance needed to demonstrate that each product within the wide variety of personal protective equipment (PPE) used by the nation s diverse workforce meets the standards to which it is marked. NIOSH s due diligence and strategy to develop these appropriate levels of assurance into a framework for a comprehensive conformity assessment program is being driven by addressing the following questions: How is the interest in protecting the health and safety of the American worker shared by the private and public sectors maximized? What mechanisms must be developed or enhanced to ensure proper coordination among those federal agencies having authorities in this area? What will the marketplace, particularly PPT purchasers and end users, be willing and able to realistically support? Under what circumstances is a level of independence needed in a PPT conformity assessment system? This presentation will detail the steps being taken by NIOSH and its partners to address these questions leading to the development of a comprehensive conformity assessment program for PPT capable of being fully implemented in the US.