Respirator fitting is conducted initially upon assignment to a task requiring use of a respirator. Refitting is conducted annually thereafter upon successful completion of the respirator training.
Fit testing will be conducted by the Safety and Health Manager and the test results will be the determining factor in selecting the type, model, and size of negative-pressure respirator for use by each individual respirator wearer.
Each time a respirator is donned, the user will perform positive and negative pressure fit checks. These checks are not a substitute for fit testing. Respirator users must be properly trained in the performance of these checks and understand their limitations.
Applicability/Limitations: This test cannot be carried out on all respirators; however, it can be used on face pieces of air purifying respirators equipped with tight-fitting respirator inlet covers and on atmosphere supplying respirators equipped with breathing tubes which can be squeezed or blocked at the inlet to prevent the passage of air.
Procedure: Close off the inlet opening of the respirator’s canister(s), cartridge(s), or filter(s) with the palm of the hand, or squeeze the breathing air tube or block its inlet so that it will not allow the passage of air. Inhale gently and hold for at least 10 seconds. If the face piece collapses slightly and no inward leakage of air into the face piece is detected, it can be reasonably assumed that the respirator has been properly positioned and the exhalation valve and face piece are not leaking.
Applicability/Limitations: This test cannot be carried out on all respirators; however, respirators equipped with exhalation valves can be tested.
Procedure: Close off the exhalation valve or the breathing tube with the palm of the hand. Exhale gently. If the respirator has been properly
positioned, a slight positive pressure will build up inside the face piece without detection of any outward air leak between the sealing surface of the face piece and the face.