Mask Fit Testing (QUALITATIVE)
The qualitative mask fit testing method is the most widely used and popular method for respirator fit testing. A “fit test” tests the seal between the respirator’s facepiece and the clients face. …
Qualitative fit testing is a pass/fail test method. The mask fit test uses the client’s sense of taste or smell, or their reaction to an irritant in order to detect leakage into the respirator facepiece. A respirator is a form of protective respiratory equipment designed to protect the wearer from inhaling harmful particulate matter. Common ones are dust, including airborne microorganisms, fumes, and vapors.
Any person who is required to wear a tight-fitting facepiece during the course of their normal day to day work duties or any person who is required to wear a tight-fitting facepiece for emergency response activities should be fit tested to ensure an effective seal.
Respirator mask fit testing is required in quite a few different fields of work:
- Medical sector. If there is ever an outbreak of any sort, nurses and doctors should be able to grab a mask and go to work. They are exposed to a wide variety of viruses, sicknesses. Health science students working in a lab or with research may be exposed to disease. A proper mask can help to protect them against airborne disease.
- Construction – mask fit tests are required to protect employees from dirt, dust, sand, toxic chemicals etc. Employees could experience serious health issues if they are exposed to contamination and do not have a way to properly protect themselves.
- Oil and Gas, Fire service Personnel, Lab workers – Some products can be toxic or corrosive. Air Purifying respirators do not protect staff from very toxic IDLH products (Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health) ie- H2S or Oxygen Deficient environments
PURPOSE OF THIS SERVICE:
- Government required CSA Standard CSA Z94.4:
- Company Policy Protect the worker from inhaling toxins
- Ensure that an APR mask still fits the worker
properly and that they recognize “breakthrough”
CAN FIT TESTING BE COMBINED WITH OTHER TRAINING SERVICES?
It can be done as part of Air Purifying Respirators (APR) or Respiratory Protection Equipment (RPE) courses as one component of these seminars.
HOW IS A QUALITATIVE FIT TEST PERFORMED?
During fit testing participants will :
- Learn to put on a respirator and, position it on their face
- Adjust tension and determine the acceptable fit. Wear it at least 5 minutes to assess comfort of the mask.
- Positive and Negative seal checks are performed to check the seals of the mask to ensure a proper fit.
- Do a series of exercises to determine if the mask is fitting comfortably
The client will be tested using one or more of four qualitative fit test methods accepted by CSA Z94.4:
- Isoamyl acetate, which smells like bananas;
- Saccharin, which leaves a sweet taste in your mouth;
- Bitrex, which leaves a bitter taste in your mouth; and
- Irritant smoke, which can cause coughing
COMMON MASKS WORN:
- N95 – 3M mask for Medical personnel
- North 7600 and 7700 half and full respiratory masks with cartridges
- 3 m half and full face respiratory masks with cartridges
Pre-requisites to the Appointment:
Please ensure that you meet the following requirements prior to attending:
- Areas that contact the mask/seal must be clean shaven
- No drink or food or gum consumed within 20 minutes of your appointment
- No smoking prior to your appointment within 20 minutes
- We recommend that a medical appointment to determine the suitability of fit testing be done.
- The client will be required to fill out a short medical form at the appointment consenting to the fit test
- If the clients company requires a specific mask/cartridge, bring it along to the appointment.
How Long Does the Test Take?
The test takes approximately 30 minutes or less
How Much Does the Test Cost?
The cost of the mask fitting test is $40.00 plus tax.
How Often Do I Need To Re-Certify?
Check with your school or employer to see when you need to attend a re-certification.
Expiry dates are required:
- Fit testing must be done when: the respirator is first issued
- at least every two years if there is no change in the respirator or wearer
- if there is a change in the type, style, brand or size of respirator
- if there is a change to the wearer’s physical condition that could affect respirator fit
HAZARD ASSESSMENT – The work area shall have a hazard assessment of the work area to determine what respiratory hazards are present
Are Private Group Mask Fittings Available?
Yes, we offer private mask fittings for your business or group. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a private fitting of the mask
Refunds and credits
Credits and refunds are not applicable within 72 hours of the course. Prior to that, please ensure that a formal phone call and email has been made along with the consent of the trainer