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Respirator Fit Test Services & Fit Test Training
RHP Risk Management occupational health and safety professionals regularly perform Quantitative Fit Testing (QNFT) and Qualitative Fit Testing (QLFT) for employers looking to provide their employees the correct PPE and fit to protect them from respiratory hazards within all industries, including the construction industry, healthcare and general industry workplaces.
Fit testing is required to be completed under Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) before any user wears a respirator on the job as detailed in OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard 29 CFR 1910.134.
What Is a Respirator Fit Test?
If OSHA standards require your employees to wear respirators, they’ll need to do annual respirator fit tests to ensure their equipment meets those safety standards. A respirator fit test tests the seal between a person’s face and their respirator’s facepiece. The fit test is used to find a respirator that fits the user’s face best to ensure their safety in the workplace. Once the fit test is complete, the exact make, size and style respirator that passes the test should be worn while on the job.
There are two types of respirator fit tests — qualitative and quantitative — that should be used depending on the type of respirator being tested.
Quantitative Fit Testing vs Qualitative Fit Testing
Qualitative Fit Testing (QLFT)
QLFT is a fit testing method that follows a pass/fail process and relies on the user’s senses and is used to validate a tight-fitting respirator seal on the wearer’s face in order to provide expected and required protection. The employee is expected to complete a user seal-check for positive pressure, negative pressure and the manufacturer’s recommended user seal-check procedures. During the test, the employee being fitted is required to recite a Rainbow Passage that is used to test the respirator seal.
The QLFT relies on the test subject/employee’s senses using one of four OSHA-accepted test agents:
- Isoamyl acetate: Isoamyl acetate has a banana smell and is only for testing respirators with organic vapor cartridges.
- Saccharin: Saccharin has a sweet taste and can test respirators with a particulate filter of any class.
- Bitrex®: This agent has a bitter taste and can also test respirators with the particulate filter of any class.
- Irritant smoke: Irritant smoke causes an involuntary cough reflex and is only for testing respirators with level 100 particulate filters.
During the QLFT, employees will be exposed to the test agents to determine if particles are able to pass through any gaps between the respirator and the face. This tests how secure of a seal the respirator provides.
Quantitative Fit Testing Services (QNFT)
The quantitative fit test (QNFT) respiratory fit testing method uses an instrument that attaches to a respirator to numerically measure its effectiveness of the amount of leakage that may be taking place. The QNFT test does not rely on the employee’s senses or reaction to irritants and uses three different OSHA-approved methods:
- Generated aerosol: An aerosol is dispensed into a booth or test chamber and any leaks into the respirator are measured.
- Ambient aerosol: Ambient aerosol utilizes laser technology to gauge aerosol concentrations without having to use a test chamber.
- Controlled negative pressure: A fixed vacuum is created on the facepiece with special adapters that then measure airflow or leak rate.
During a QNFT, the employee should wear the respirator for five minutes prior to a test administration that is performed in a fit testing hood. The employee must also perform a sensitivity test in which they wear the respirator while breathing normally, taking deep breaths, speaking and while touching toes or jogging in place.
Looking For Respirator Fit Testing Services Near You?
RHP’s experienced evaluators and trainers come to you. Our onsite respirator face fit testing is an efficient process that takes place at your workplace or business with the flexibility to fit test any number of employees on a single shift or over multiple shifts.
Through assessments and face fit testing, the RHP occupational health and safety professional’s onsite respirator fit testing will mitigate the risk of workplace hazards in the healthcare industry between your employees and patients. RHP’s development and implementation of respiratory protection programs and training will keep your business in compliance with OSHA standards.
Contact RHP Risk Management for an initial consultation and learn how to incorporate the RHP respirator face fit testing services into your programs, training and employee safety protocols.
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RHP Risk Management is a leader in the field of Industrial Hygiene, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Built Environment, Risk Management, Dose Estimation & Analysis, and Exposure Simulation Testing. Our highly trained and sophisticated team of professionals work together seamlessly on small and large projects. Our roster includes certified industrial hygienists, public health scientists, risk assessors, certified safety professionals, field staff, an engineer, an anthropologist, an economist, certified paralegals, and support staff.
We work with our clients to develop solutions to their most pressing concerns. Understanding exposures and risks through a grounding in a sound, defensible, state-of-the-art scientific approach gives our clients peace of mind. Empowered by a comprehensive understanding of exposures we can provide, clients are better equipped to recognize previously unseen business risks, manage known risks, target areas for control systems, comply with regulations, and to be braced for regulatory or litigation actions. Senior staff have served as experts in front of stakeholders, public, workers, regulatory, and State and Federal courts.
Content Reviewed & Verified by Our Fit Testing Experts
Jacob Persky, MPH, CIH – 20 years of experience as an industrial hygienist and environmental consultant. He has a broad-based knowledge of exposure assessment and exposure reconstruction principles
Tracie Rose – 20 years of experience working with clients and scientists to explore factors of risk.