Respirator Fit Test
If you work in the medical, manufacturing, or construction industry, you’re probably familiar with the respirator fit test. This is a test that will show if a tight-fitting respirator can be worn without experiencing any leaks that would allow airborne hazards to pass through the mask.
If your employees are required to wear a respirator to work, OSHA requires that you ensure each employee’s mask fits properly during a Qualitative Fit Test (QLFT). PRACTICE NAME in Dickinson, Killdeer, and Richardton, ND offers the QLFT, as well as assistance with baseline and annual testing. Contact our office today to learn more about our services and how we can help you!
What Is a Qualitative Respirator Fit Test?
A qualitative respirator fit test is performed mostly for masks such as the N-95 face mask. It uses a person’s sense of taste or smell, and/or their reaction to specific irritants in order to detect leaks. If the person wearing the mask can detect leakage of the test subject, the test will be marked as failed.
OSHA accepts four testing methods, including the use of Isoamyl acetate (smells like a banana), saccharin, bitrex, or smoke (causes coughing if the test fails).
What Are The Requirements For a QFT?
Employees that take the test must wear the exact make, model, and size respirator that they will be wearing on the job. If an employee wears goggles or glasses on the job, they must be worn during the test as well to ensure that the respirator will still fit properly.
Respirator fit tests at Therapy Solutions must be administered before an employee wears the respirator for the first time, as well as annually. If there are changes to an employee’s face (weight change, surgery, or scarring, for example), the test must be given again.
According to the VPPA, respirators are either categorized as loose-fitting or tight-fitting. Because tight-fitting respirators can’t protect you unless they fit, they’re held to tougher standards. OSHA demands respirator fit testing only on tight-fitting respirators, and those respirators that don’t rely on a tight seal around a person’s face do not require testing.
Contact Therapy Solutions IN Dickinson, Killdeer, and Richardton, ND Today
If your employees require a respirator fit test, contact our office today to learn more about our baseline and annual testing services. We know your employee’s safety is top priority, and we’re here to help.