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Respirator Fit Testing Safety Services

Respirator Fit Testing

Respirator Fit Testing

What is Respirator Fit Testing?

Workers must have a test performed to check the performance of the seal of their respirator, this is called fit testing. At a minimum fit testing must be done every second year. Some companies require annual testing.

Why is it important?

Fit testing is important because it tests the effectiveness of the fit of a mask on a persons face. Each persons face is shaped differently and how the respirator, which is also shaped differently between different manufacturers, models and sizes fits, is important, and must be tested.

What is the difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Respiratory Fit Testing?

There are two types, quantitative and qualitative fit testing. Quantitative testing is generally regarding as the most accurate testing, it involves using a computerized machine that connects to the mask, and measure air pressure in the outside of the mask, and the amount of air flow through the inhalation and exhalation valves. Based on this information the machine is able to calculate how effectively the mask is sealing and provide a score that shows either a pass or fail. Qualitative testing is performed using irritant smoke, bitrex or banana oil. This testing relies on the senses of the worker wearing the respirator. To perform the test, the test agent is sprayed around the worker, who is wearing the mask, and generally shrouded with a hood. If the respirator leaks, the user lets the tester know, they smell the test agent. This test is pass or fail.

Generally the per person price for fit testing is $75.00 each. This is dependant on different factors. It can be much less if there is a group. Before you arrive for the test, you must know which mask make and model you need to be tested on.

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