The main objective of this session is to review respirator fit-test options and procedures. By the time the session is over, you will be able to help employees select, assess comfort, and fit a respirator; teach workers to perform positive and negative seal checks; and understand qualitative and quantitative fit-test procedures.
Why “Respirator Fit Testing—What Supervisors Need to Know” Matters:
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says that an estimated 5 million workers are required to wear respirators in 1.3 million workplaces throughout the United States. Respirators protect workers against insufficient oxygen environments, harmful dusts, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapors, and sprays. These hazards may cause cancer, lung impairment, other diseases, or death. To keep out harmful vapors, gases, and particulates, respirators must fit properly. In order to ensure proper fit, OSHA requires fit testing before initial use and annually thereafter for all respirators that rely on a mask-to-face seal. Fit testing is the best way to make sure that selected respirators properly fit the faces of your employees and provide them with the maximum protection from airborne contaminants.
- Respirator fit tests are required to make sure employees are adequately protected from airborne contaminants in the workplace.
- There are a variety of qualitative and quantitative fit tests that may be used.
- OSHA sets mandatory requirements for both qualitative and quantitative fit testing.
- You should understand fit-test requirements and procedures.