Chris Hall performing fit testing.  Photos courtesy of Susan Yeiter

Fit testing is a procedure which tests for leakage of an airborne test agent into a respirator while being worn by the employee.

Anyone assigned a job in which a respirator is worn, should be fit tested to determine whether a particular size and brand of respirator provides a satisfactory seal against the face.  This determination should be made using a qualitative fit test method:

  • The individual to be fit tested is asked to don the respirator and wear it for a familiarization period prior to the actual fitting.  When the familiarization period is over the individual will be fitted.
  • A sufficient quantity of the qualitative test solution will be generated near the respirator wearer.  The individual will then perform a series of head, face, body movements, and acknowledge whether any irritation is perceived.
  • When an individual is successfully fitted with a respirator, the brand, size and type of respirator will be recorded.  The date the fitting was conducted; the signature of the individual who conducted the fitting, and the signature of the individual fitted will
    also be recorded.
  • Quantitative/Qualitative fit testing will be done annually using the Respirator Specification & Fit Test Record.
  • The employee will then be apprised of the necessary information so that he/she may obtain the correct respirator.

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