After a recent call, one of the chiefs was talking about the recent OSHA visit to the factory he works in. They were there to do fit testing for industrial breathing apparatus. He couldn't believe it when three guys in a row were passed with a full beard. Not trimmed or anything. One even said that he would go home on lunch, shave, and be back. The OSHA rep told him to try as he was and passed him.
There are a couple chiefs from other departments that work at the same place. We have been having discussions internally about how to handle mutual aid when those coming have facial hair and are going inside as they are signed off by their chief. For us it is easy, it says right in the owners manual of our SCBA that no facial hair may touch the seal anywhere.
What makes this interesting is that the factory and neighboring departments are in NY and we are in PA. When we call them, they are technically under our workmen's comp insurance. But they have been told, by OSHA reps, that they are ok with whatever facial hair they want as long as they pass fit test. We were told, absolutely not by a different person from OSHA.
I'm not even so sure I have a question, just more of a statement of frustration that the OSHA people can't be consistent on their own rules.