What to Expect at Your Respirator Fit Testing

If you’re required to wear a respirator at work, then you’ll need to have a fit test done to ensure the respirator fits properly. Here’s what you can expect during your fit testing appointment.

For many, this is a new task that is a little out of their comfort zone. In this blog post we will walk you through what to expect and what you will be required to do while at your fit testing.

Who Needs to Be Fit Tested

OSHA outlines that quantitative or qualitative fit testing is mandatory for anyone wearing a respirator on the job. Furthermore, this assessment must occur at least yearly, with additional tests:

  • When you use a different size, style, model or make of respirator,
  • If your facial appearance changes in a way that could affect how well the mask fits, such as a large change in weight or if you get dental work done.

Respirator fit testing is conducted to ensure that the respirator properly seals to the face and filters out contaminants.

What to bring to your respirator fit testing appointment

It’s important to be prepared for your respirator fit testing appointment. Fit testing is used to make sure that your respirator fits properly and provides the level of protection you need. Here’s what you’ll need to bring to your appointment:

– Your photo ID

– Your current respirator or a new one that has been issued to you

– Any other PPE that you typically wear with your respirator, such as safety glasses or earplugs

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During the fit testing, you’ll be asked to breathe normally while a series of tests are conducted. The tests will usually take less than 15 minutes to complete. Once the tests are finished, your supervisor will review the results with you and determine if your respirator fits properly. If it does not, you’ll be given a new respirator to try.

What will happen during your respirator fit testing appointment

Once you have scheduled your appointment for a respirator fit test at WorkSafe Physical Therapy, there are a few things you can expect to happen.

First, you will be asked to put on the respirator mask and adjust it to fit snugly over your face. Next, you will be asked to breathe normally while the fit tester watches to see if the mask moves or leaks. If the mask does not fit properly, the tester will make adjustments and try again.

Once the tester is satisfied that the mask fits properly, you will be asked to perform a series of activities, such as speaking or nodding your head, to make sure that you can still breathe easily while wearing the mask and that the mask is maintaining a proper seal.

A quantitative fit test will be performed in our office. This is a style of test where a hood is placed over your head (you are able to see through a window in this hood) and a substance is sprayed into the hood with you. You will then be instructed to perform a series of 7-8 different movements for 30 seconds each.

If at any time you taste or smell the chemical that is sprayed into the hood it is considered a failed test and the respirator fit is not sufficient.

Finally, you will be given documentation that indicates that you have successfully completed the fit test and are cleared to wear a respirator.

If the fit test fails and the respirator that you are using is not the correct fit, you will be retested with a different size or style of respirator until the test is passed.

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How long the respirator fit testing appointment will take

Respirator fit testing is an important step in making sure that your respirator will provide the level of protection you need. The process typically takes about 15-20 minutes, but may take longer if you have a beard or other facial hair that interferes with the seal of the mask. You can expect to be at our office for around 30 minutes for the appointment.

What Happens After Your Respirator Fit Testing Appointment

After you have completed your respirator fit testing appointment, there are a few things you should do to ensure that you are able to properly use your respirator.

First, make sure that you know how to use your respirator properly. Familiarize yourself with the instructions and practice putting it on and taking it off.

Secondly, always keep your respirator clean and well-maintained. Inspect it regularly for signs of damage and replace it if necessary.

Finally, make sure that you have a spare respirator on hand in case your primary one is lost or damaged.

Conclusion

If you’re fit-tested for a respirator at your job, congratulations! You get to protect your lungs from harmful air particles.

Fit testing is an important step in making sure that you are using a respirator correctly and that it will provide the level of protection you need. At WorkSafe Physical Therapy we strive to make sure you are safe and able to wear the appropriate respirator for your needs.

Contact WorkSafe Physical Therapy to find out how we can help your company


Working to keep you safe, healthy, and productive,

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