Respirator Fit Testing

Scope. All employees using a negative or positive pressure tight-fitting facepiece respirator must pass an appropriate fit test.  Fit testing is required prior to initial use, whenever a different respirator facepiece is used, and at least annually thereafter. An additional fit test is required whenever the employee reports, or the employer or licensed health care professional makes visual observations of changes in the employee’s physical condition that could affect respirator fit (e.g., facial scarring, dental changes, cosmetic surgery, or an obvious change in body weight). The fit test shall be administered using an OSHA-Accepted QLFT Protocol, as contained in OSHA Respiratory Protection (Standards 29 CFR), 1910.134 App A.

Purpose.  The primary purpose of fit testing is to identify the specific make, model, style, and size of respirator best suited for each employee.  In addition, fit testing also provides an opportunity to check on problems with respirator wear and reinforces respirator training by having wearers review the proper methods of donning and wearing the respirator.

Requirement.  Fit testing is required for all negative or positive pressure tight-fitting facepiece respirators.  The OSHA respiratory protection standard requires that fit testing be performed before an employee first starts wearing a respirator in the work environment, whenever a different respirator facepiece is used, and at least annually thereafter.

OnSite Health conducts all facets of the fit test, including the required testing to gain medical clearance for each employee prior to the actual fit test.