Modifications to the CSA Z94 respiratory protection standard

Modifications to the CSA Z94 respiratory protection standard

4/2/2014 - SPI

In 2011, the Canadian Standards Association modified the CSA Z94.4 respiratory protection standard. And what was the result? More defined safeguards and consequently increased protection for the workers!

Complying with these new practices is a good way for a company to demonstrate due diligence and ensure a safe work environment. To help you follow suit, SPI summarizes the main innovations added to the standard.

Finally, here are the FIT TESTING adjustment criteria!

Before modifications were made to the standard, proficiency testing criteria were not established for individuals performing fit testing. This is ancient history! Now, there is a scope of competencies to correctly choose the respiratory protective mask model adapted for the work at hand. It indicates if the size and model are adequate, and even more.

Welcome to the RESPIRATORY protection against bioaerosols

Great news! Bioaerosols have finally made their way into the standard! Let us remember that they are airborne particles coming from living organisms (virus, bacteria, moulds or fungus). Medical and health environments are at risk of being exposed to these contaminants.

Bioaerosols were the cause of certain crises, such as legionellosis in 2012. This incident has resulted in many contaminations as well as several deaths. Exposure to these contaminants is now standardized for the benefit and safety of everyone.

Assigned protection factor cut in half

The standard has also been tightened as for the assigned protection factor of full-facepiece respirator. It has changed from 100 mg per square meter to 50 mg. Why is that so? Epidemiological studies showed that the previous limit was insufficient to adequately protect workers. This change affects workers using a full face protective mask or full-facepiece respirator.

Tolerance for certain beards and mustaches

Prior to 2011, all facial hair was prohibited for workers using respiratory protection. If your employees had to say goodbye to their mustaches the day they began wearing respiratory protection, it is now time for them to get reacquainted with their old look! The new standard accepts beards and mustaches with certain restrictions. But be careful! They are tolerated as long as they do not come in contact with the seal of the respiratory protective mask.

Would you like advice to choose respiratory protective  masks and respirators in compliance with the new CSA Z94.4 standard? Our specialized team will gladly assist you. Contact us.

Pauline Bordeleau
Expert Advisor, Industrial Hygiene/Respiratory Protection
SPI Health and Safety