A respirator fit test is a process to determine if a respiratory protective device fits properly on an individual. It is important because a proper fit ensures that the device will provide adequate protection against breathing in hazardous substances in the air.
The two main types of fit tests are qualitative fit tests and quantitative fit tests. Qualitative fit tests use sensory methods such as taste or smell, while quantitative fit tests use equipment to measure the amount of air leaking into the respirator.
All tight-fitting respirators, including filtering facepieces (such as N95 respirators), require fit testing. Loose-fitting respirators, such as powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) and supplied air respirators (SARs), do not require fit testing.
OSHA requires fit testing to be performed annually for tight-fitting respirators. Some employers may require more frequent fit testing.
A fit test typically takes 15-30 minutes.
A qualitative fit test uses a test solution, such as Biltrex, to create a taste or odor that can be detected if air leaks into the respirator. The individual wearing the respirator performs various movements and activities to assess the fit of the respirator.
A quantitative fit test uses equipment to measure the amount of air leaking into the respirator. The individual wears a hood or mask connected to the testing equipment, which measures the amount of air leaking into the respirator.
Individuals should not use any products that may affect the sense of taste or smell, such as gum, mints, or lotions, prior to the fit test. They should also remove any facial hair that may interfere with the seal of the respirator.
Fit tests are generally considered safe. There may be some discomfort or irritation from the test solution used in qualitative fit tests, but this is usually minor and temporary.
Yes, Safetyware Group offers both qualitative and quantitative fit testing services using Biltrex and advanced fit testing equipment. Contact us to schedule a fit test appointment.
If you have any questions about our services, please do not hesitate to drop us an email now.