Guide to Fit Testing for Respirators

Guide to Fit Testing for Respirators

For mandatory usage fit testing is required and suggested for the optional use of respiratory protection. click reference OSHA regulations state that a contractor must insure that an individual using a tight-fitting facepiece respirator is checked before the actual use of the respirator if, and at least annually afterwards, another respirator facepiece type, design, pattern or produce is used. Criteria to be considered in fit testing include: properly placed chin; adequate strap tension, not excessively tightened; fit across the nose bridge; proper size to span distance from nose to chin; tendency to slip; and self-observation in a mirror to assess fit and breathing position.

Below are some of the key steps OSHA describes to execute a proper fit check. Be sure to contact a health specialist or industrial hygienist before running a suit check to insure that it is carried out in compliance with the safety regulations.

  1. Give the employee a review of how to attach a respirator, place it on the face, set strap tension and determine an acceptable fit.
  2. Ask the employee to pick a respirator that seems to be the most suitable choice after having tried a fair number of models and sizes of the respirator.
  3. Tell the employee to keep each facepiece deemed close to the face and delete those that clearly don’t offer an acceptable fit. Notice the more suitable facepieces in case the first chosen one appears to be inacceptable in the final.
  4. Have the employee wearing the most supportive mask, and wear it to determine relaxation for at least five minutes. When determining comfort, the following factors should be considered: location on the nose, room for eye protection, space for chat and place on the face and cheeks.
  5. Have the employee run a regular seal test on consumers. Tell the employee to seat the mask on the face before performing the seal check by slowly moving the head from side to side and up and down while taking in a few slow deep breaths. When the app seal checks measures fail, pick another facepiece and retry.
  6. Should not conduct the examination while there is hair development between the skin and the sealing surface of the facepiece. It is important to modify or delete any form of clothing that interferes with a suitable fit.
  7. If an employee is experiencing trouble breathing through the exams, she or he will be referred, if necessary, to a physician or other qualified health care provider to decide whether the employee should use a respirator when doing their duties.
  8. If the employee finds the respirator’s fit personally unacceptable, then the employee should be given the opportunity to select and re-test another respirator.
  9. Perform the fit check when the individual is wearing some appropriate protective gear that may be used during regular usage of the respirator that could conflict with the function of the respirator.

As part of a performance evaluation it is important to conduct a variety of appropriate exercises. Such movements include natural breathing, deep relaxation, shifting head side to side, raising head up and down, walking and leaning over. Any of these tasks can help to assess the match more accurately in situations that an employee encounters during his or her working day.

Robert Cline