Respiratory protective equipment including disposable, half-and full-face masks and their respective filtering systems assists in the prevention of illness, disease and death from breathing hazards. However, the equipment must be properly selected, fitted, worn and maintained to ensure maximum protection.
There are two Fit Testing methods, these are known as: Quantitative and Qualitative tests.
Quantitative tests – can be used to fit test all types of tight-fitting masks including disposable, half and full face masks. Quantitative tests give an objective assessment of facial fit and provide a direct numerical result called a Fit Factor.
Qualitative tests – rely on the wearer’s subjective assessment of face seal leakage. These methods, during a set of test exercises, use the wearer’s sense of smell or taste to detect face seal leakage of a test agent.
Following the Canadian Standards Association CSA Z94.4-02 Selection, Care and Use of Respirators, our program provides a theoretical and practical component to respiratory protection for your employees. Where applicable the program is site-specific.
The program includes an overview of the following:
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Hazard Assessment
- Respirator Selection
- Use of Respirators
- Cleaning, Inspection, Maintenance and Storage
- Health Surveillance of Respirator Users
- Fit Test
It is recommended that fit tests be conducted annually and that workers are provided with refresher training at least every 2 years. Further assistance can be provided for adaptation of a Respirator Program Policy for inclusion in your corporate health and safety manual.