News | January 2, 2019

Protecting Puerto Rico's Workers And Employers From Respirable Hazards And Noncompliance Penalties

Zimmetry Environmental provides testing and consulting services to identify airborne pollutants and other inhalation dangers throughout the Caribbean.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released its preliminary list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the 2018 fiscal year. The list is compiled from thousands of workplace inspections conducted by federal OSHA staff.

One of the top ten cited violations year after year involves respiratory protection. OSHA reports that an estimated 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 million workplaces throughout the United States. These employees include many found in Puerto Rico that work in positions that necessitate respiratory protection and sometimes other personal protective equipment (PPE).

The use of respirators in many occupations is essential to protect workers against insufficient oxygen environments, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors and sprays. Many of these occupational hazards may otherwise cause cancer, lung impairment, diseases or even death.

Respirators protect workers in two basic ways according to OSHA:

The first is by the removal of contaminants from the air. Respirators of this type include particulate respirators, which filter out airborne particles, and air-purifying respirators with cartridges/canisters, which filter out chemicals and gases.

Other respirators protect by supplying clean respirable air from another source. Respirators that fall into this category include airline respirators, which use compressed air from a remote source, and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), which include their own air supply.

“Once again respiratory protection made OSHA’s top ten list of the most citations at number four,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “By law, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for all their employees. Compliance with OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard is mandatory and helps to avert many deaths and countless illnesses. It is also essential to avoid costly fines associated with noncompliance violations.”

Working to protect workers in Puerto Rico and across the Caribbean from respiratory hazards are the industrial hygiene and air quality experts at Zimmetry Environmental. Their professionals help companies and institutions identify and mitigate respiratory hazards so that workers can be properly protected with respirators and other PPE.

Zimmetry also recently sponsored an educational video about OSHA’s Top 10 citations for 2018 that can be seen at:

For more information, visit

Source: Zimmetry Environmental