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. Initial and refresher education is included, covering donning and doffing of respirator and the use, care and maintenance of the device.
WOHC HEALTH LTD offers both Qualitative and Quantitative Testing.
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. Each episode takes approximately 15-20 minutes per wearer to perform.
This is a more subjective method. Again the wearer performs a series of exercises, whilst a non-toxic solution is sprayed into a hood sitting over the head and shoulders. It relies on the ability of the wearer to taste the solution or not. This testing episode takes 20-30 minutes 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