Mobile Respirator Fit Testing Services
Respiratory protection violations are the third most common infraction according to OSHA’s Top 10 most frequently cited standards.
A most violated section of the standard regards fit testing. Section 1910.134(f)(2) states
"the employer shall ensure an employee using a tight-fitting facepiece respirator is fit tested prior to initial use of the respirator, whenever a different respirator facepiece (size, style, model or make) is used, and at least annually thereafter."
An estimated 1 in 10 people will become sick due to respiratory hazards encountered in the workplace annually (American Journal of Respiratory Care and Medicine). Ensure your employee health and regulatory compliance with respirator fit testing services from Examinetics.
Build a respiratory protection program ideal for your company with premium features from Examinetics:
- A fleet of more than 130 mobile units that come direct to your job site
- Nationwide onsite testing in the contiguous United States
- Flexible scheduling options based on your work shifts
- Expert occupational health specialists and in-house nurses
- Full suite of offerings including respirator fit and respirator medical clearance evaluations
Qualitative and Quantitative Respiratory Fit Testing
Examinetics offers comprehensive respirator fit testing services to keep your workforce healthy and compliant with OSHA and MSHA regulations. We deliver both qualitative fit testing and quantitative fit testing onsite. Upon completion of passed tests, each eligible employee is issued a card listing the make, model and size of the proper-fitting respirator. Learn more about Qualitative and Quantitative.
Fit tests across a broad range of devices
- Dust masks
- Half-face masks
- Full-face masks
- Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)
2 Common Mistakes You're Making With OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard
Cutting-edge, NIOSH approved spirometry technology and software
Easy on-PC diagnostics devices:
- Instant interpretation of results and quality insights
- Graphs on screen as results appear in real time
- Incentive animations to assist the participant during test
Environmental, Health & Safety Coordinator; Operations Manager
We have more than 20 employees that are fit tested on an annual basis. The fit testing performed is Quantitative Fit Testing. Examinetics has been our vendor of choice for the past several years. They contact me in advance of scheduling the on-site testing vehicle and notify me of any changes or concerns. The Health Specialist is on-site prior to the start time of testing, sets up his van as soon as he arrives, and stays on schedule during the day. The only thing I do is give him a schedule and ensure that the employees arrive for testing as scheduled. I find that the whole process is very efficient, and have never had any issues. I would recommend Examinetics to anyone who needsrespirator fit testing.
Solvay Composite Materials
I work for a manufacturing company that requires our employees to wear respirators and I have to schedule the yearly fit testing and pulmonary testing for all 32 technicians on 4 different rotating 12-hour shifts. We have an Examinetics mobile unit come onsite for 4 days to get all employees. This year our technician came out on the first day and completed all testing for the first team, when in the past it has taken two days. Because he was organized, prepared, ready to start on time and very efficient at his job, everything ran very smooth and fast. All our employees were impressed and happy. We were also able to cut out one whole day. Even afterwards, the Examinetics technician sent me all the paperwork on everyone that had been tested in a timely manner so that I can send it to my SHE department.
Environmental Health & Safety Supervisor
The technician who provided us with our fit testing was professional, courteous, and extremely efficient. He processed my employees through the fit testing requirements as fast as I could get them to him. He explained everything in such a way that there were no questions and had an excellent “bed-side manner”. My employees are, at times, a surly bunch, but almost everyone of them commented on how nice he was and how he did not waste time.All in all, I have nothing but praise with the service provided by Examinetics.
We use Examinetics for our hearing and respiratory fit tests and everything has been flawless from the moment we inquired about their services. The examiner for our site was very knowledgeable and efficient with a pleasant demeanor, putting everyone at ease. The professionalism of every person I had contact with at Examinetics was unmatched!
Examinetics has always provided us fantastic service for audiometric and respirator fit testing. From start to finish, Examinetics makes scheduling, onsite testing and viewing reports so simple. The customer service is great, as the staff is quick to respond and always ensures our needs for testing are being met. Plus, the onsite technicians are always friendly and knowledgable, which makes working with Examinetics even more enjoyable. It is a pleasure to work with and see Examinetics during our annual testing and I only wish more vendors left that same impression!
Facial Hair Guidelines
- Reduce leakage between the seal on the respirator and face
- Prevent violations of OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134(g)(1)(i)
- Keep your employees safe year-round by enforcing facial hair requirements
- Facial hair that lies along the sealing area of a respirator interferes with respirators that rely on a tight fit.
- The rule does allow some forms of neat, trimmed facial hair as long as it does not interfere with safe respirator operations.
- Clean-shaven employees are necessary every day, not just for fit testing day.
A respirator fit test determines whether or not a respirator fits over an individual’s nose and mouth and makes a tight seal to protect from hazardous airborne particles. There are two types of fit tests. A qualitative fit test determines if the person being tested can smell/taste external agents through the mask. A quantitative fit test uses a machine to assess the adequacy of the seal that is formed around the face by having the person do various exercises and maneuvers to detect potential leakage.
Qualitative fit testing is a subjective pass/fail method used on half-masks that rely on a user’s sense of taste to detect air leakage from the respirator. The test uses Bitrex (a harmless, bitter-tasting chemical) or Saccharin (a sweet-tasting chemical), which will determine whether the mask passes or fails.
Quantitative fit testing measures the precise amount of leakage into any tight-fitting facepieces. Instead of relying on your senses, the test is performed by a machine calculating the measurements. According to OSHA regulations, there are three acceptable quantitative fit test methods: general aerosol, ambient aerosol and controlled negative pressure, which are all available with Examinetics.
All facial hair that may impede a tight seal for a facepiece must be shaven. Neatly trimmed, closely shaved facial hair, such as small goatees or mustaches, may be acceptable while wearing a respirator. Full beards are not acceptable.
According to OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134: The employer shall not permit respirators with tight-fitting facepieces to be worn by employees who have:
- Facial hair interfering with the sealing surface or the value function
- Any condition that interferes with the face-to-facepiece seal or valve function.
- This requirement applies to both negative and positive pressure respiratory protective devices that rely on the principle of forming a face to facepiece seal.
- Beard growth at points where the seal with the face and respirator occurs is a condition that has been shown by numerous studies to prevent a good face seal.
Per the OSHA Standard, fit testing is required prior to initial use, whenever a different respirator facepiece (size, model or make) is used, and at least annually thereafter.
Even though a respirator may not be required for the job you’re doing, you may want to use a respirator for protection while doing certain tasks. Though fit testing is technically not required in this scenario, it is important to ensure that wearing the respirator will not be detrimental to your health. OSHA still requires certain obligations from your employer, which are detailed here.
Employees who wear glasses may struggle to wear both their glasses and a respirator. In particular, this affects employees requiring a full-face respirator or SCBA. However, OSHA requires employers to provide employees who wear respirators with an optical corrective lens when necessary.
Full Respiratory Protection Services
Our online respirator medical clearance evaluations help keep your workforce safe, healthy and compliant with mandatory workplace laws.
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