How do you make sure the respirators fit properly
How do you make sure the respirators fit properly?
Different types of respirators and even different brands of the same type of respirator have different fit characteristics.No one respirator will fit everyone. Some employees may be unable to get an adequate fit with certain respirator models of a particular type of respirator. This is why employers must provide a sufficient number of respirator models and sizes to ensure that every employee can select an acceptable respirator that fits properly.Corrective eyeglasses worn by employees also present a problem when fitting respirators. Special mountings are available to hold corrective lenses inside full facepieces.A qualified individual must fit the facepiece and lenses to provide good vision, comfort, and proper sealing.Tight-fitting respirators cannot provide proper protection without a tight seal between the facepiece and the wearer’s face. Consequently, beards and other facial hair, the absence of normally worn dentures, facial deformities, or jewelry or head gear that projects under the facepiece seal can also seriously affect the fit of a facepiece. To ensure proper respiratory protection, check the facepiece each time you wear the respirator. You can do this by performing either a positive-pressure or negative-pressure user seal check.Detailed instructions for performing these user seal checks are in Appendix B-1 of the OSHA respiratory protection standard.
Fit testing is required for tight-fitting facepiece respirators. You can test the effectiveness of the fit of the facepiece two ways: qualitatively and quantitatively.
Qualitative fit testing involves the introduction of a harmless odoriferous or irritating substance into the breathing zone around the respirator being worn. If no odor or irritation is detected by the wearer, this indicates a proper fit.
Quantitative fit testing offers more accurate, detailed information on respirator fit. While the wearer performs exercises that could induce facepiece leakage, a fit testing instrument numerically measures the amount of leakage into the respirator. This testing can be done either by generating a test aerosol as a test atmosphere, using ambient aerosol as a test agent, or using controlled negative pressure to measure any leakage. Detailed instructions for performing qualitative and quantitative fit testing is contained in Appendix A of the OSHA respiratory protection standard.