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worker wearing a respirator

Review & Evaluation: Program Review

Review of program activities, outputs, and outcomes is essential to good program performance. For a program to be accountable for producing results over any given timeline, activities, outputs and outcomes must be regularly monitored by the program through the systematic collection, analysis and reporting of information that tracks program activities and results (outputs and outcomes). In addition to internal and external program reviews, the National Academies conducted separate evaluation studies of eight NIOSH programs from mid-2005 until the end of 2008. The purpose of the reviews was to assess the impact and relevance of each program and to identify emerging issues. The National Academies completed their review of the NIOSH PPT Program and published their report in June 2008. A Draft Implementation Plan was presented to the NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) in April 2009. The Draft plan was posted to NIOSH Docket# 146 for public comment from March 22 - June 1, 2009. Comments received are currently being evaluated and incorporated into a final PPT Implementation Plan.

In a parallel effort, in response to a request from NIOSH, the Institute of Medicine formed a standing Committee on Personal Protective Equipment (COPPE) for Workplace Safety and Health. Since 2005, the committee has provided a forum to discuss scientific and technical issues relevant to the development, certification, deployment, and use of personal protective equipment, standards, and related systems to ensure workplace safety and health. Under the auspices of the COPPE, the National Academies completed evaluations of two NIOSH PPT research projects: Measuring Respirator Use in the Workplace and the Assessment of the NIOSH Head-and-Face Anthropometrics Survey of U.S. Respirator Users. Reports on these evaluations were delivered to NIOSH in December 2006 and January 2007, respectively. NIOSH has developed a Research Roadmap to address the Anthropometrics Research and is currently updating the PPT Surveillance Action Plan to address the issues and recommendations described in the reports.

Because of the national priority associated with pandemic influenza preparedness, NIOSH requested the IOM assemble an expert committee to examine research directions and certification and testing issues regarding the use of personal protective equipment during an influenza pandemic. The committee conducted a scientific workshop on February 22, 2007 to identify research directions, certification and standard setting issues, and risk assessment issues specific to personal protective equipment for healthcare workers during an influenza pandemic. The report prepared by the committee is being used to guide future activities for the PPT Program in these areas.

These efforts, and related efforts identified on the National Academies link below, will directly feed into the future development of the NIOSH PPT Program. NIOSH personnel and extramural researchers interested in initiating PPT Programs and projects are encouraged to review these reports and recommendations when considering submitting a new start to the PPT Program.

Current activities of the National Academies' COPPE, reports generated by the relevant committees, and NIOSH responses to the reports and recommendations.

Use and Effectiveness of Powered Air-Purifying Respirators in Health Care Report (2015) . This report was commissioned by NIOSH NPPTL in an effort to gather and compile information regarding the health care stakeholder needs. NIOSH is moving toward more contemporary approaches to updating the standard in accordance with the 1995 National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (Public Law 104-113) to address innovative technologies and contemporary applications for PAPRs . The NTTAA directs federal agencies to work with consensus standards and not to rely solely on existing federal standards to update regulations. The report is being used as one of many significant inputs to revising the standards and prioritizing the performance requirements to be incorporated in the standards which is underway at this time.

The Personal Protective Technology Program at NIOSH (June 26, 2008)

Preparing for an Influenza Pandemic: Personal Protective Equipment for Healthcare Workers (September 18, 2007)

Reusability of Facemasks During an Influenza Pandemic: Facing the Flu - Released On: April 27, 2006

Measuring Respirator Use in the Workplace (December 20, 2006)

  • PPT Program response to Respirator Use Report: NIOSH PPT surveillance program action plan. Draft, March 5, 2008. (accessible through the National Academies Public Access File).

Assessment of the NIOSH Head-and-Face Anthropometric Survey of U.S. Respirator Users (January 24, 2007)