Respirator Fit Testing Resources

Respirator Fit Testing Resources

Respirator Fit Testing

In many industries, it is not uncommon for workers to be exposed to hazardous contaminants such as fumes, chemicals, dust, and infectious substances. It is important to take the appropriate precautions to ensure the health and safety of employees. Respirators are the most effective way to prevent contaminants from entering a worker’s body. However, respirators cannot guarantee a 100% elimination of contamination leakage into the facepiece because of various factors including different models of respirator and incorrect wear of the respirator by the user.

The purpose of respirator fit testing is to ensure each employee’s respirator fits optimally and ensures the highest level of protection. It aims to provide:

  • Safety – Fit Testing confirms a satisfactory seal or barrier between the wearer and the environment.
  • Comfort – It verifies comfort, and that the wearer can perform their work duties effectively
  • Training - It ensures the wearer knows how to properly use the respirator and how to put it on and take it off safely.

Air-Met Scientific is an advocate for occupational health and safety initiatives since 1984. We are also a proud supporter of RESP-FIT, an Australian fit testing and accreditation program build to improve the competency of fit testers. Here we have compiled a list of answers to the most commonly asked questions on respirator fit testing.

Fit Testing FAQs

Respirator Fit Testing of Respiratory Protection Equipment (RPE) is an important range of tests undertaken to ensure that tight-fitting respirators fit the user correctly. It ensures respirators are working properly to provide the highest level of protection to the wearer. It is required for all tight-fitting respirators including:

  • Half-Face disposable
  • Half-Face reusable
  • Full-Face reusable
  • Tight-fitting powered air purifying respirators (PAPR)

Respirator fit testing for all tight-fitting respirators (positive and negative pressure) is a mandatory part of AS/NZS 1715 Respiratory Protection Programs and mandated by all international respiratory protection programs. You must also get fit tested at least every 12 months to make sure the respirator still fits you.

A respirator fit test should be conducted:

  • On anyone who wears a tight-fitting respirator during the course of their normal work day
  • On anyone who wears a RPE to perform emergency response activities.
  • Prior to the initial use of a different size, style, model or make of respirator.
  • If there is a significant change in body weight, change to facial hair in the sealing area or dental changes.

The RESP-FIT website has a directory of accredited fit testers and/or Fit Test Service provider organisation. 

RESP-FIT has a formal accreditation process for individuals interesting in becoming a certified Respirator Fit Tester. This process can take a few months and once you are accredited your details can be listed on the RESP-FIT website. Although it is not a legal requirement for individuals seeking accreditation to have completed an approved RESP-FIT course, it is highly recommended as the course provides competency in the base theory knowledge that is assessed in the accreditation process.

When using tight fitting respirator, workers must ensure an effective face seal. This means the wearer must be clean-shaven or have minimal facial hair so it doesn’t interfere with the fitting surfaces and the valve of the respirator. Hazards such as asbestos, silica and DPM are many times smaller than a single facial hair and can easily bypass between them.

The type of fit testing you should undergo should be based on the legislative standard, type of respirators being used in your workplace and the hazardous particle exposure. There are two types of fit testing:

  • Quantitative Fit Testing (QNFT) - Quantitative fit testing is used for any full face/tight fitting respirator. A respirator fit testing equipment will measure the leakage around the face seal of the respirator and provide a numerical value called a fit factor. According to OSHA regulations there are three acceptable quantitative fit test methods
    • Ambient Aerosol Condensation nuclei-counting (CNC)
    • Controlled Negative Pressure (CNP)
  • Qualitative Fit Testing (QLFT) - Quantitative Fit Testing (Aerosol Taste Test) is typically used for workers that would be required to wear a disposable mask or half mask respirators. The QLFT uses a pass/fail and relies on the user’s senses using one of the accepted test agents :
    • Isoamyl acetate (banana smell)
    • Isoamyl acetate (banana smell)
    • Bitrex® (bitter taste);
In a QLFT, if the user detects the test agent, then the test is considered a fail. In this method, the test is subject and heavily dependent on the individual detecting the smell or taste whilst a QNFT is not dependent on the individual, it quantitatively measure the amount of leakage within the mask.

A great resource to learn more about fit testing is the RESP-FIT FAQ section. If you are looking for useful videos on Fit Testing and video guides on Fit Testing Equipment, check out our fit test playlist on our Youtube channel.

Fit Test Youtube Playlist

Fit Testing Equipment
Fit Testing Guides and White Papers
Learn More About RESP-FIT
Contact Us for Fit-Testing Help

Fit Testing Equipment

A respirator and proper respirator fit test are critical components of employee respiratory programme. Respirators are highly effective Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to safeguard individuals against a range of contaminants in the air.

OHD QuantiFit2 Respirator Fit Tester

 Quantifit 2

The QuantiFit2 Respirator Fit Tester utilises OHD’s scientifically proven and patented Controlled Negative Pressure Technology which directly measures respirator leakage. This technology is the fastest, easiest and more precise respirator fit test available. This methodology is also covered as part of the RESP-FIT Training Programme. The QuantiFit2 battery pack allow cordless operation, animations to guide the user through each exercise and AutoStart feature for touchless testing.

Air-Met Scientific is an exclusive distributor for the OHD Fit Testing Range.

QuantiFit2 Brochure


OHD QuantiCheck Respirator Seal Check

QuantiCheck

The QuantiCheck is the first quantitative respirator user seal check device. The system not only checks for face seal but the whole mask for breaches and integrity issues that could cause leakage. The QuantiCheck has been designed to be able to quickly and easily perform a qualitative seal check each time a respirator is donned. The revolutionary technology features an app which easily shows a visible green light to indicate that the user has an adequate seal or a red light to indicate a seal beach.

Air-Met Scientific is an exclusive distributor for the OHD Fit Testing Range.

OHD QuantiCheck Brochure  

FIND MORE RESPIRATOR FIT TESTERS

Respirator Fit Testing Guidelines

The aim of Respiratory Fit Testing Guidelines is to provide basic information and general guidance on the selection, use and maintainence of respiratory protection in the workplace.

Who are These Guidelines for?

These guidelines are for employers, employees and those responsible forhealth and safety in the workplace, in small to medium sized businesses in particular.


Fit Testing ProceduresBenefits of Becoming an Accredited Fit Tester

The RESP-FIT Program

RESP-FIT Logo - Air-Met Scientific

RESP - FIT is a national, standardised fit testing training and accreditation program developed to improve the competency of fit testers against both the Australian and international ISO respirators standards for fit testing. It is developed by AIOH (Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists) to improve worker protection of those wearing tight-fitting RPE

The RESP-FIT program works on a NFP basis to provide an accreditation process for fit testers to demonstrate competence, create a standardised training syllabus based on AS/ANZ 1715 and ISO 16975-3 to improve fit tester knowledge, and provide a directory of accredited respirator fit testers and trainers.

Air-Met Scientific is a proud supporter of RESP-FIT and we offer a range of fit-testers for sale or hire that utilises a methodology as covered by the RESP-FIT Training and Accreditation Program.

Need Assistance with Selecting a Fit Tester?

If you have any questions on our Respirator Fit Testing Equipment or would like to book a demo, contact your local Air-Met office. The QuantiFit2 is available at your local Air-Met Office for Sale and Rental.

 

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