Respirator Fit Test
Qualitative Fit Testing

We offer onsite fit testing for many kinds of masks including full face respirators, half face respirators, nuisance masks and n95 masks. Why would you need n95 mask fit testing? Prevention. Employees working in manufacturing with textiles and wood, painters, carpenters, waste management, HVAC and laboratory workers can be exposed to chemicals, bio-hazards, vapors, fiberglass and dust.

Onsite Qualitative Fit Testing Our Process

Fit testing is best done by trainers in person due to the difference in fit from one employee to the next. Not only does face size differ, the actual test is done with what looks like a bag with a window known as the fit test hood. After fitting the respirator to the employee we place the hood over their head and use various methods like the saccharin taste test, bitrex or even irritant smoke. If the employee does not taste the spray or react to the smoke irritant, that will indicate a good fit. This test can be done in just a few minutes taking very little productivity time away from your employee.

Fit Testing uses a test agent, qualitatively detected by the wearer’s sense of taste, smell, or involuntary cough triggered using a saccharin solution.

Wearer’s must be clean shaven where the respirator seals to the face for fit testing or when wearing the respirator. Facial hair will interfere with the ability to get a good seal, thereby, increasing the risk of exposure to harmful chemicals or particulates.

Under OSHA Standard, 1910.134, fit testing must be performed initially (before the employee is required to wear the respirator in the workplace) and must be repeated at least annually. Fit testing must also be conducted whenever respirator design or facial changes occur that could affect the proper fit of the respirator.

Avoid eating, drinking (except water), or smoking 15 minutes prior to testing.

An N95 is a respiratory protective device that forms a seal around the mouth and nose in effort to filter airborne particles.

Who Needs Fit Testing?

OSHA fit testing is required for any worker that uses tight-fitting respirators for work. This testing is to be done before the worker uses the mask for the first time. After that, testing should be done each year. Testing might need to take place before the year is up if masks have changed size, make, model, style, etc. If someone lost a lot of weight, had dental or cosmetic surgery or any other physical change to the face, fit testing should be done again whether or not a year has passed.