Respirator Fit Testing
For wearers of Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) the PCBU must provide information, training or instruction on how to correctly use, wear, store and maintain RPE. Each time RPE is worn workers should complete positive and negative fit checks.
Fit testing is required by AS/NZS 1715 before a respirator is worn in the workplace to ensure that workers are wearing properly fitting RPE, with an effective seal to the face. A fit test should be conducted at issue of RPE and then at least annually and/or;
- Whenever a different size, style, model or make of respirator is used.
- When any facial changes occur that could affect fit, such as significant weight changes or significant dental work.
It is also worthwhile completing fit testing alongside annual health monitoring where our Occupational Health Nurses discuss respiratory history and exposure history as well as completing spirometry (lung function testing).
There are two types of fit testing, Qualitative and Quantitative. TriEx can complete Qualitative Fit Testing.
Qualitative Fit Testing
TriEx carry out qualitative fit testing for half face respirators, used in environments where the hazard is less than 10 times the WES (workplace exposure standard).
A sensitivity test is completed without RPE under a hood. The RPE is then worn and either a bitter or sweet solution is introduced into the hood whilst the worker carries out a variety of activities for one minute each including:
- Normal breathing
- Deep breathing
- Moving head side to side
- Moving head up and down
- Bending over (or jogging in place)
- Normal breathing again
Education is given regarding care and maintenance of respiratory equipment and how to fit check RPE.
Time allowed for testing: 30 minutes per person