Why do my workers need Facial Fit Testing?
Inhalation is the most common route through which foreign and often dangerous substances enter the body. Therefore, where there is a risk of exposure to potentially toxic or infectious airborne contaminants, a facial respirator should always be worn. Whilst personal respiratory devices, such as full- and half-face masks are essential in preventing the spread of infectious diseases, if the respirator is not fitted correctly the respirator may not be providing you with the necessary protection.
Why is Fit Testing Important?
People come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and so do personal respirators. Because of this, a perfect facial fit is paramount in obtaining optimum protection. A poor fitting respirator may lead to a leakage of contaminants into the breathing zone, thereby compromising the safety of the wearer. In fact, if you are wearing a personal respirator that has not been adequately fit tested, you may be gambling with your health.
- Not all respirators will fit all faces
- Poorly fitting respirators will leak contaminants into the breathing zone
- You may be gambling with your health and the health of your employees
Because your health and safety are too important to leave to chance, Environmental Site Services now provides a Quantitative Facial Fit Testing service of your personal respiratory device to safeguard you against accidental inhalation of contaminants such as Dust, Gases, Welding Fume, Cement Dust, Silica, Mould and Infectious and Airborne diseases.
“A correct fit is your insurance”
What are my obligations?
Respirator facial fit testing is now a mandatory requirement of the AS/NZS 1715:2009 Selection, use and maintenance of respiratory protective devices and must be performed on all tight fitting respirators.
Respirator facial fit testing is used to assess whether the respirator assigned to a person forms an adequate seal around their face and verifies whether the wearer is provided the required level of protection against exposure to hazardous atmospheric contaminants such as dusts, mists, fumes, gases, vapours and biological contaminants such as influenza and other infectious diseases.
Environmental Site Services conducts respirator fit testing that’s fast, easy and accurate for all types and brands of respirators at your workplace using the latest PortaCount quantitative fit test technology.
This fit test method measures respirator fit whilst the user performs a series of moving, breathing and talking exercises designed to simulate actual use in the workplace.
Which respirators and dust masks need to be tested?
The answer to this is any tight fitting mask. This includes
- All disposable masks known as either P2 or N95 masks these are used in health care, asbestos removal or mining these are the most commons masks.
- Half-face masks
- Full-face masks
- Full-face self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) masks
- Full-face powered air purifying (PAPR) masks
When is Facial Fit Testing Required?
- When a respirator/mask is first issued to the wearer
- Annually for all tight fitting respirators
- Whenever a medical provider, the employer, or the employee has reason to believe the respirator no longer fits due to facial changes, weight changes, or scars.
- When the employee experiences a medical condition that impacts or could impact safe respirator use
How long does facial fit testing take and where?
- A Respirator Facial Fit Test takes approximately 15 minutes this includes information and training on the correct fitting of the respirator how to maintain the respirator and information for when repeat testing is required.
- Respirator Fit Testing can be done with our mobile service or at our premises
Who requires fit testing?
Anyone who wears a respirator, particularly workers in:
- Fire and rescue
- Hospitals and those working in healthcare facilities