Respirator Fit Testing
Fast Response On-Site recommends and utilizes the PortaCount Plus apparatus for quantitative fit testing. This programmable computerized system allows for exposure specific OSHA protocol exercise requirements to be met. The PortaCount Plus can be used in conjunction with any type of respirator with a tight-fitting face piece. Use of a wide range of varying adapters to fit most manufacturers face pieces allows employees to be tested in their own respirator. PortaCount Plus incorporates a software package that facilitates data generation, evaluation, and archiving. The PortaCount Plus is widely accepted in the industry as “state of the art”.
A respiratory protection program will fully comply only when proper respirator fit testing is done with all employees. Our respirator fit testing complies with OSHA Respirator Standard CFR 1910.134. Two testing methodologies are used to ensure proper fit of a respirator: Quantitative Respirator Fit Testing and Qualitative Respirator Fit testing.Employees must be tested on each mask they may wear in the workplace. Retesting occurs when/if there are any facial changes(weight gain/dental work etc.)
Quantitative Respirator Fit Testing
Using a portacount computerized testing machine,this Fit Testing determines the adequacy of the face-to-face piece fit or seal of a given type, make, model, and size of a tight fitting face piece respirator by measuring the particulate contaminate concentration outside the face piece (ambient air), to the concentration inside the face piece. Positive pressure respirator face pieces are fitted with an adapter to allow them to be tested as a negative pressure respirator for test purposes.
This quantitative measurement is called the Fit Factor and reflects seal adequacy. Minimum fit factor of 500 is needed for full-face respirators (Assigned Protection Factor of 50) and a minimum fit factor of 100 (Assigned Protection Factor of 10) is needed for face respirators. QNFT is required for contaminant concentrations greater than ten times the PEL.Quantitative fitr testing is considered the “gold standard” for respiratory fit testing.
Qualitative Fit Testing
Qualitative is a subjective based pass/fail test that is dependent on a subjective response from the respirator wearer. Types of qualitative fit testing agents are saccharin, bitrex, isoamyl acetate (banana oil), and irritant smoke. OSHA protocols for these tests must be strictly followed to comply with OSHA Standards.
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Respiratory Compliance“OSHA 29CFR 1910.134 requires annual medical evaluation, training and fit testing for each mask worn by an employee in the workplace.”