Fit Respirator Testing
A Fit Test is an exam conducted to verify that a respirator is both comfortable and fits the user correctly. A respirator can't protect your employee if it doesn't fit his/her face. It's that simple. Some respirators, known as tight-fitting respirators, must form a tight seal with the face or neck to work properly. If the respirator doesn't fit a person’s face properly, contaminated air can leak into the respirator face piece, and your employee could breathe in hazardous substances. So, before an employee wears a tight-fitting respirator at work, you must be sure that your respirator fits you. AOHS can help you accomplish this task. We do this by performing a Fit test on your employee while he/she wears the same make, model, and size of respirator that is required on the job. That way, you know that the respirator fits your employee properly and can protect him/her if the respirator is used correctly. Also, before an employee uses a respirator or is fit-tested, you must ensure that your employee is medically able to wear it.
Fit testing uses a test agent to verify the respirator's fit, either qualitatively detected by the employee’s sense of taste, smell or involuntary cough (irritant smoke) or quantitatively measured by an instrument. It takes about twenty minutes to complete the test. Each employee must be tested at least annually. After passing a fit test with a respirator, your employee must use the exact make, model, style, and size respirator on the job.
Sometimes your employee may need to wear prescription glasses or personal protective equipment, such as safety goggles or earmuffs while performing a job. If your employee falls into this category, then you must wear these items during the fit test to be sure the items don't interfere with the respirator's fit.