The focus was on the importance of respirators and other personal protective equipment for workers exposed to hazardous industrial chemicals, dusts, and other substances.
"International collaboration with organizations such as the Chilean Institute of Public Health is critical to enabling effective respiratory protection for the global workforce," said Maryann D'Alessandro, director of the NIOSH Pittsburgh-based laboratory. "These partnerships help promote international stability for U.S. businesses, continue the tradition of U.S. technological leadership globally, and provide information that we can use in turn to further worker health and safety in the U.S."
The vast majority of respirators used in Chilean workplaces have been certified by NIOSH, the agency said. Manufacturers and government regulators consider the NIOSH certification process "one of the factors contributing to the goal of a global standard for respirators."
NIOSH's National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory and the Chilean ISP organized the seminar in Latin America in May. Some 70 participants discussed how to improve worker safety and health through the use of PPE.
Participants included representatives from the Ministry of Health and Labor, the International Labor Organization, multi-national manufacturers of PPE, various academic bodies, and industrial sectors, including construction and mining. NIOSH conducted educational workshops as well as audits on respirator manufacturers in Colombia, Chile, and Brazil to determine whether the products continued to meet the requirements necessary to maintain their NIOSH respiratory certification status.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
August 13, 2012
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