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PPE for ‘underserved’ workers: NIOSH extends comment period for RFI

Photos: LeslieLauren/iStockphoto

Washington — NIOSH has extended until Oct. 15 the comment period on a Request for Information on personal protective equipment use, availability, accessibility, acceptability and knowledge for “underserved” workers, according to a notice published in the Aug. 16 Federal Register.

NIOSH published the RFI in the June 24 Federal Register, with the initial comment period slated to end Aug. 23.

“Underserved PPE user populations may include, but are not limited to, workers who are of an atypical size; who are members of a gender, racial, ethnic or linguistic minority group; who conduct nontraditional worker activities; or who are members of subdisciplines that are not the primary focus of the current PPE activities within a larger field,” NIOSH says.

Information should be shared with the agency via a letter or email, and should include individual, company or institution name, location, and website (if available). Letters also should include contact information and “the primary motivation(s) for why you (or your organization) are responding,” along with relevant background information and knowledge of “any other organizations working in applicable issues.”


In addition, NIOSH asks that respondents describe experiences related to PPE use, availability, accessibility, acceptability and knowledge issues for underserved PPE user populations.

Other potential questions respondents can answer:

  • What data/information/resources did you find the most relevant/valuable?
  • How long have you or your organization been working with the PPE use, availability, accessibility, acceptability and knowledge issues for underserved populations?
  • Did your or your organization’s involvement change over time and, if so, how and why?
  • What achievements have you or your organization realized through your work (e.g., publications, guidance, new/revised policies or procedures)?
  • What are your future plans on PPE use, availability, accessibility and knowledge for underserved populations?
  • Can you describe PPE gaps/barriers for underserved populations?
  • What research, service or policy gaps need to be addressed?

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