This protocol includes exercises performed facing forward and bending over, shaking the head and two redonnings of the respirator face piece. No, the examination in not an OSHA requirement but providing it is both prudent and cost effective, there is no other test that is as quick and accurate for determining your employees current lung functioning and a vital part of your medical surveillance documentation. The employer shall provide to E&SSG a copy of the medical clearance prior to requesting fit tests. 2. This information must be retained until the next fit test is administered. Assessment of comfort shall include a review of the following points with the test subject and allowing the test subject adequate time to determine the comfort of the respirator: a Position of the mask on the nose d Position of mask on face and cheeks 7. Loose fitting respirators, such as pairs, in which the bonnet or helmet are designed to form only a partial seal with the wearer’s face or hoods which seal loosely around the wearer’s neck or shoulders, do not require fit testing.
For over three years, NIOSH researchers followed a cohort of 229 subjects measuring N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) fit and physical characteristics (e.g., face size, weight) every six months. Prior to this study, very little research existed looking at the relationship between respirator fit over an extensive period of time and the change in facial dimensions, as could be caused by weight gain or loss. OSHA requires FFR users to undergo an annual fit test, which is vital to ensuring continued proper respirator fit. In addition to annual fit testing, OSHA requires that fit testing be repeated whenever an employee reports, or the employer or the physician or other licensed health care professional makes visual observations of changes in the employees physical condition that could affect respirator fit (e.g. facial scarring, dental changes, cosmetic surgery, or an obvious change in body weight. (OSHA, 1998) Background The appropriate length of time between respirator fit tests has been a point of debate and discussion for many years. Fit testing can be time-consuming and a burden to workplace resources (Zhuang, 2015). OSHA addressed these concerns in 1998 when publishing the respiratory protection standard (OSHA, 1998). During the public comment period for OSHAs rulemaking, data from four companies were considered in establishing the annual fit test requirement. Three of the companies reported <3% of employees failed fit testing after 1 year and one company conducting biannual fit tests found that 7% of their employees switched to different sizes or models because of a failed fit test. OSHA considered a two-year 7% failure rate unacceptable (meaning that a high percentage of employees could be relying on poor-fitting respirators if not fit tested annually), and thus supported an annual fit testing requirement (OSHA, 1998). In 1999, NIOSH endorsed all provisions of OSHAs 29 CFR Part 1910.134 relating to the frequency of fit testing ( NIOSH ). Despite this endorsement, questions surrounding the frequency of respirator fit testing remained from employers (e.g., especially those in the healthcare sector) and the industrial hygiene community. Examples are located in the comments to a previous NIOSH science blog on this topic titled Frequency of Respirator Fit Testing .
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit CDC – NIOSH Science Blog – New NIOSH Study Supports the OSHA Annual Fit Testing Requirements for Filtering Facepiece Respirators
If the test subject reports tasting the sweet taste during the ten squeezes, the screening test is completed. In a normal standing position, the subject shall breathe slowly and deeply for 1 minute, being careful where to look for essential details in mask fit not to hyperventilate. The taste threshold is noted as ten regardless of the number of squeezes actually completed. 8 If the first response is negative, ten more squeezes are repeated rapidly and the test subject is again asked whether the saccharin is tasted. Testing should be completed within 60 days of NHS approval. Fit factor is a quantitative estimate of the fit of a respirator to a specific individual. Many workers need to wear prescription glasses or personal protective equipment, such as safety goggles or earmuffs, while performing a job.