Respiratory Fit Testing
Respirator Fit Testing
It is a requirement under AS/NZS 1715:2009 “Use and maintenance of respiratory protective devices” that all wearers of face masks undergo annual fit testing. The purpose of the test is to verify that each wearer has a mask that provides an effective seal against contaminants in the atmosphere.
WOHC HEALTH LTD offers both Qualitative and Quantitative Testing. The Qualitative test better measures a mask’s effectiveness under actual working conditions.
This type of testing has largely fallen out of favour. It relies on a visual assessment of the mask fitted to a worker, and an assessment of whether they can taste and/or smell a non-toxic solution being administered under a hood.
A quantitative test employs the use of a ‘PortaCount’ device. This allows the effectiveness of the mask’s seal to be measured while the wearer simultaneously performs a series of movements while breathing and talking – designed to simulate actual working conditions. The PortaCount determines whether an adequate face seal is achieved by measuring the amount of leakage into the mask. The device provides a precise numerical measure and documentation which satisfies the record keeping requirements of the standard. WOHC HEALTH LTD recommends this test, which takes approximately 20-30 minutes per wearer to perform.
For fit-testing to be undertaken, employees must be clean shaven (wet or electric razor) – within the last 8 hours – and should not have eaten, drunk, smoked, vaped or chewed gum in the 30 mins prior to testing
Contact Cathy McBride, Occupational Fit Technican on firstname.lastname@example.org or 027 201 5829 for more information