Urgent Pesticide Updates

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Online Pesticide Credit Classes

Recently, N.C. Department Agriculture and Consumer Services has coordinated with NC State Extension to provide opportunities for online pesticide recertification credit classes. This is still a work in progress and is not without flaws. However, in the near future your Agricultural Extension Agents of Stanly County will be announcing some opportunities for attending virtual pesticide trainings. These classes will be for “X” and “V” credits.

Temporary Suspension of Annual Fit Testing for N-95 Respirators

OSHA has put into place a temporary suspension of annual fit testing for N-95 respirators. OSHA temporary guidance is below, with links.

“…OSHA has issued new temporary guidance regarding the enforcement of OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard. This guidance is aimed at ensuring healthcare workers have full access to needed N95 respiratory protection in light of anticipated shortages.”

“OSHA field offices have the discretion to not cite an employer for violations of the annual fit testing requirement as long as employers:

  • Make a good faith effort to comply with the respiratory protection standard; Use only NIOSH-certified respirators;
  • Implement strategies recommended by OSHA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for optimizing and prioritizing N95 respirators;
  • Perform initial fit tests for each healthcare employee with the same model, style, and size respirator that the employee will be required to wear for protection from coronavirus;
  • Tell employees that the employer is temporarily suspending the annual fit testing of N95 respirators to preserve the supply for use in situations where they are required to be worn;
  • Explain to employees the importance of conducting a fit check after putting on the respirator to make sure they are getting an adequate seal;
  • Conduct a fit test if they observe visual changes in an employee’s physical condition that could affect respirator fit; and remind employees to notify management if the integrity or fit of their N95 respirator is compromised.

The temporary enforcement guidance is in effect beginning March 14, 2020, and will remain in effect until further notice.”

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Temporary Enforcement Guidance for Respirator Fit-Testing in Healthcare during COVID-19 Outbreak

Temporary Enforcement Guidance – Healthcare Respiratory Protection Annual Fit-Testing for N95 Filtering Facepieces During the COVID-19 Outbreak