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Offline wannabeard

Nuclear Security officers and beards
« on: Jan 18, 2017, 11:24 »
Looking for information on sites that allow Nuclear Security officers (Armed responders) to grow beards, and how they obtain a mask fit. Please don't speculate, I'm looking for first hand specific information.
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Offline Marlin

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Re: Nuclear Security officers and beards
« Reply #1 on: Jan 18, 2017, 11:53 »
"Tight-fitting respirators shall not be worn by employees who have facial hair or any
condition that interferes with the face-to-facepiece seal or valve function."

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS OF OSHA’S RESPIRATORY PROTECTION STANDARD 29 CFR 1910.134

https://www.osha.gov/dte/library/respirators/major_requirements.pdf

Offline wannabeard

Re: Nuclear Security officers and beards
« Reply #2 on: Jan 18, 2017, 12:01 »
That would be correct. I have been told be some pretty credible sources that there are sites that allow security officers to use petroleum jelly to help seal the mask. I'm looking to verify information I have been told.
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Offline Marlin

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Re: Nuclear Security officers and beards
« Reply #3 on: Jan 18, 2017, 02:23 »
That would be correct. I have been told be some pretty credible sources that there are sites that allow security officers to use petroleum jelly to help seal the mask. I'm looking to verify information I have been told.

Does not ring true and I have never encountered such a situation. OSHA/NIOSH are the sources of regulations for respiratory protection and I have never seen any exceptions not even for religious reasons.



Offline wannabeard

Re: Nuclear Security officers and beards
« Reply #4 on: Jan 18, 2017, 02:31 »
How about hair longer than 12 inches on a male security officer!
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Offline retired nuke

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Offline Marlin

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Re: Nuclear Security officers and beards
« Reply #6 on: Jan 18, 2017, 02:49 »
How about hair longer than 12 inches on a male security officer!

  The sealing area is the only area that must be clear of facial hair or other obstruction to an adequate seal which will be demonstrated by a challenge media typically a fit test booth that is quantitative or in come cases with a media that the wearer determines whether or not they can detect it in the mask (like a smoke test) a qualitative test. There is a requirement that hair may not obstruct operation of the mask valves but typically there is no restriction on hair length, I think women would object to cutting their hair short. ;)  Most security forces do have a dress code that covers length of hair or appearance and that may be gender specific.

Offline wannabeard

Re: Nuclear Security officers and beards
« Reply #7 on: Jan 18, 2017, 03:01 »
My hair is about 14 inches long and I sport a nice pony tail been on the job for close to 20 years. My goal is to find independent verification on the beard respirator subject. I have been told 3 sites allow this.
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Offline Marlin

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Re: Nuclear Security officers and beards
« Reply #8 on: Jan 18, 2017, 03:34 »
My hair is about 14 inches long and I sport a nice pony tail been on the job for close to 20 years. My goal is to find independent verification on the beard respirator subject. I have been told 3 sites allow this.

Which sites? Maybe someone from that site could give you better insight.

Offline wannabeard

Re: Nuclear Security officers and beards
« Reply #9 on: Jan 18, 2017, 03:42 »
In order to verify the truth I'm not going to say which sites! Believe it or not people lie! I'm not looking for speculation, I would like to know what has been seen firsthand and where.
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Offline RDTroja

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Re: Nuclear Security officers and beards
« Reply #10 on: Jan 18, 2017, 05:04 »
A long time ago in a nuclear world, far, far gone from here I was allowed to use a sealant (Petroleum Jelly works but is a real pain to remove later, KY works as well and is water soluble) but alas, no more. As I recall (and that gets harder all the time) the NRC put their foot down hard on that one... or at least that was the excuse I was given. Beards and respirator quals are mutually exclusive everywhere I know. If there is still a place that still allows that I am not aware of it (and would be very surprised.) Good luck with that and please report back any success.

About the same time as that (mid 70s) I also had a pony tail and that was allowed but drew a lot of sometimes unwanted attention (would be much less attention getting today.) Then again, I was an RP, not security, so... YMMV.
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Offline peteshonkwiler

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Re: Nuclear Security officers and beards
« Reply #11 on: Jan 18, 2017, 05:20 »
Wearing a FFNP respirator with a beard will result in an unsatisfactory seal and no qualification. Artificial enhancements (jellies, jams, et al) are generally frowned upon in the modern commercial nuclear fleet. PAPR is the respirator of choice for the facially hirsute, but may not be in the Nuclear Security Officer's  dress code.
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Re: Nuclear Security officers and beards
« Reply #12 on: Jan 19, 2017, 07:33 »
A google search for Osha respirator beard produced these results - including one from OSHA and one from the NRC, the two government organizations that regulate our industry. I think that you will be very unlikely to convince your site to go along with your plan, regardless if you find somewhere else that allows it.
https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=28997
http://advancedsafetyhealth.com/newsletter-blog/2012/12/11/osha-quiz-does-the-beard-have-to-go/
http://www.oshatraining.com/Overlooked-Details-OSHAs-Respiratory-Protection-Standard.php
https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1034/ML103430356.pdf
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Offline JessJen

Re: Nuclear Security officers and beards
« Reply #13 on: Jan 19, 2017, 12:27 »
I second HouseDad, read the regs and go from there.  Even if you have heard it's been done, it still may not be considered an industry best practice.  Most I have seen at any of the sites I've been to for those with the need to wear a respirator is what I like to call the "nuclear goatee" as it's some upper lip and chin coverage but shaped to allow for a seal and even then some sites will make you ditch the chin hair.

Offline wannabeard

Re: Nuclear Security officers and beards
« Reply #14 on: Jan 25, 2017, 12:45 »

Response: The Respiratory Protection standard, paragraph 29 CFR 1910.134(g)(1)(i)(A), states that respirators shall not be worn when facial hair comes between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face or that interferes with valve function. Facial hair is allowed as long as it does not protrude under the respirator seal, or extend far enough to interfere with the device's valve function. Short mustaches, sideburns, and small goatees that are neatly trimmed so that no hair compromises the seal of the respirator usually do not present a hazard and, therefore, do not violate paragraph 1910.134(g)(1)(i).

Standard Number: 1910.134(g)(1)(i)(A); 1910.134(g)(1)



OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov

May 9, 2016

Mr. Matthew Sands
 606 F Avenue
 Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma 73523

Dear Mr. Sands:

Thank you for your letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Your letter has been referred to the Directorate of Enforcement Programs for an answer to your question. Your letter requested clarification on OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard, 29 CFR 1910.134, which addresses facial hair and respirator fit. This letter constitutes OSHA’s interpretation only of the requirements herein, and may not be applicable to any questions not delineated within your original correspondence. Your paraphrased question and our response is below.

Question: If an employee with a neatly trimmed goatee is wearing a respirator and it does not interfere with the seal of the face piece or valve function, and has passed a fit test, does this meet the intent of the OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard?

Response: The Respiratory Protection standard, paragraph 29 CFR 1910.134(g)(1)(i)(A), states that respirators shall not be worn when facial hair comes between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face or that interferes with valve function. Facial hair is allowed as long as it does not protrude under the respirator seal, or extend far enough to interfere with the device's valve function. Short mustaches, sideburns, and small goatees that are neatly trimmed so that no hair compromises the seal of the respirator usually do not present a hazard and, therefore, do not violate paragraph 1910.134(g)(1)(i).

In general, however, beards present serious problems for tight-fitting facepiece respirators because their texture and density vary daily, causing unreliable respirator fit and, therefore, present a higher potential for leakage. However, some other types of respirators do not require a face seal, and thus, usually can be worn with facial hair, such as loose fitting powered air-purifying respirators and hooded powered air-purifying respirators.

OSHA has addressed similar questions and outlined the Agency’s interpretation in letters posted on OSHA’s public website, www.osha.gov. See 3/7/2003 and 4/1/2011 letters of interpretation to Senator Levin and Mr. Randy Southard, respectively (copies enclosed). In addition, OSHA’s Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Respiratory Protection Standard (#3384) and the compliance directive, Inspection Procedures for the Respiratory Protection Standard, CPL 02-00-158, provide additional information. These two guidance documents and others can be found on the Respiratory Protection Safety and Health Topics page at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/respiratoryprotection/index.html.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. OSHA’s requirements are set by statute, standards, and regulations.  Our letters of interpretation do not create new or additional requirements but rather explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances. This letter constitutes OSHA’s interpretation of the requirements discussed. From time to time, letters are affected when the agency updates a standard, a legal decision impacts a standard, or changes in technology affect the interpretation. To assure that you are using the correct information and guidance, please consult OSHA’s website at http://www.osha.gov. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Health Enforcement at (202) 693-2190.

Sincerely,

Thomas Galassi, Director
 Directorate of Enforcement Programs

Enclosures
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
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Be kind and peaceful to each other. Eat recycled food. It's good for the environment and okay for you.

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Re: Nuclear Security officers and beards
« Reply #15 on: Jan 25, 2017, 06:25 »
yore point wood bee watt?
quando omni flunkus moritati

dubble eye, dubble yew, dubble aye!

dew the best ya kin, wit watt ya have, ware yinze are!

Offline RDTroja

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Re: Nuclear Security officers and beards
« Reply #16 on: Jan 25, 2017, 08:07 »
Looks to me like confirmation of what the rest of us have been saying...
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Offline Crumdog

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Re: Nuclear Security officers and beards
« Reply #17 on: Mar 12, 2020, 11:02 »
It depends on the individual company's policy. At my facility, contingent workers have to have Military type haircuts, no facial hair but in-house guards can have neat mustaches and hair length doesn't matter as long as it does not prevent safe performance of duties or present an unprofessional appearance.  Either way, don't you think shaving is worth a career?

 


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