Quantitative Fit Testing

Quantitative fit testing, using the Portacount Plus fit test system, is generally performed on both full-face and half-face negative pressure respirators. Fit factors are determined by comparing the particle concentration outside the respirator with the concentration inside the respirator face piece. An acceptable fit is achieved when the respirator wearer successfully completes a series of six programmed exercises (normal breathing, deep breathing, moving head up and down, moving head side to side, reading, and normal breathing) with a fit factor of 100 or more.

Special Problems

A. Facial Hair

No attempt is made to fit a respirator on an employee who has facial hair which comes between the sealing periphery of the face piece and the face, or if facial hair interferes with normal functioning of the exhalation valve of the respirator.

B. Glasses and Eye/Face Protective Devices

Proper fitting of a respiratory protective device face piece for individuals wearing corrective eyeglasses or goggles, may not be established if temple bars or straps extend through the sealing edge of the face piece. If eyeglasses, goggles, face shield or welding helmet must be worn with a respirator, they must be worn so as not to adversely affect the seal of the face piece. If a full-face piece respirator is used, special prescription glasses inserts are available if needed.

d. Training: Appropriate training and instructions in the proper use of each type of respirator shall be provided by the Safety and Health Manager. Respirator users and their supervisors will receive training on the contents of this Respiratory Protection Program and their responsibilities under it. They will be trained on the proper selection and use, as well as the limitations of the respirator. Training also covers how to ensure a proper fit before use and how to determine when a respirator is no longer providing the protection intended.

The Safety and Health Manager provides training of respirator wearers in the use, maintenance, capabilities, and limitations of respirators is initially upon assignment of personnel to tasks requiring the use of respirators. Retraining is given annually thereafter and only upon successful completion of the medical evaluation.

The training program will include the following: