Over the past few months, Ensemble has been busy designing and helping launch the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s (NIOSH) latest prize competition, the Respirator Fit Evaluation Challenge. The Challenge is a collaboration between Ensemble, NIOSH, Capital Consulting Corporation, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
For some background on respirator fit testing, while OSHA requires annual fit testing for all employees who must wear a respirator, research has shown that small or disadvantaged workplaces may not have the resources to conduct initial and annual respirator fit testing. Additionally, the public now wears tight fitting respirators, such as N95® filtering facepiece respirators, more than ever for protection from hazards such as infectious diseases, pollution, or wildfire smoke without knowing whether they provide adequate protection.
This multi-phase prize challenge offers $350,000 in total prize money for novel solutions to improve respirator fit testing practices. To compete in Phase 1 of the Challenge, participants must submit a 10-page (maximum) concept paper that outlines an idea on how to improve respirator fit testing and feedback by May 1, 2023. During Phase 1, up to 20 participants or teams will be eligible to win $5,000 and continue to Phase 2 of the Challenge.
To learn more about the challenge: bit.ly/respiratorfitevaluation