Optimize your respirator fit-testing procedures, preserving health while reducing errors and lowering cost with cutting edge technology.
Cority’s leading Respirator Fit Testing (RFT) software module helps simplify the effort to ensure your employees are equipped with the right respiratory protection to keep them safe on the job.
With the advanced features offered, businesses will optimize their respirator fit-testing procedures, preserving health while reducing errors and lowering cost in the process. Our RFT module extends across our Safety, Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene solutions to ensure customers have the best tools available to keep their people breathing easy, wherever they are in our unified, SaaS EHSQ platform.
Improves compliance to applicable regulatory standards and RFT guidelines
Increases fit-testing reliability and efficiency, lowering administrative burdens and costs
Simplifies and reduces frustration in the selection and fitting of respirator protection
Reduces worker risk exposure and helps prevent occupational disease
Employers are required to select from a list of fit testing protocols approved by OSHA as outlined in Appendix A of th Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134). Testing protocols offered in the appendix address both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. We’ve described the difference between these two approaches below:
A Qualitative Fit Test (QLFT) is a pass/fail fit test performed to assess the adequacy of respirator fit that relies on the individual’s response to the test agent. During QLFT, a worker dons a respirator under a testing hood, into which a test agent is administered. Detection of a particular odor or taste of the test agent would indicate an improper respirator fit. The inability to detect the test agent would indicate a proper respirator fit.
A Quantitative Fit Test (QNFT) refers to an assessment of the adequacy of respirator fit by numerically measuring the amount of leakage into the respirator. During QNFT, the respirator is attached to a testing probe that measures the difference in minute particles in air (nanoparticles) and compares the concentration of particles outside the respirator versus the concentration inside the respirator. The percent leakage recorded during the test will determine whether the respirator is fitted properly.
OSHA does not set specific training requirement for individuals administering respirator fit tests. While the Respiratory Protection Standard states that employers must conduct fit testing in accordance with approved fit-test procedures and must establish (and maintain) a record of all qualitative and quantitative fit tests administered, there are no specific requirements governing who can administer the test.
That said, to ensure legal compliance, employers should be able to demonstrate, with evidence, that any individual tasked with administering fit tests has been adequately trained in the specific testing protocols used in accordance with the Standard, including expectations on recordkeeping, as well as any specific policies and/or procedures outlined in the employer’s written Respiratory Protection Program.
Fit-testing is required whenever an employee is required to use any respirator with a negative or positive pressure tight-fitting facepiece. If workers may wear multiple tight-fitting respirators at work, fit testing must be completed for each make, model, style and size of respirator that will be used.
There are, however, specific fit-testing requirements depending on the type of respirator selected. Specifically, qualitative fit tests (QLFTs) may only be used to fit test negative pressure air-purifying respirators that must achieve a fit factor of 100 or less. For tight-fitting half facepiece respirators that require a fit factor of 100 or greater, or tight-fitting full facepiece respirators that required a fit factor of 500 or greater, a quantitative fit test (QNFT) protocol must be followed.
Yes. Since a N95 mask is considered a tight-fitting half facepiece respirator, workers required to use the respirator would be required to complete fit testing before its initial use?
Workers required to use respirators must be fit tested at least once annually. Nonetheless, the frequency of fit testing may be shorter than annually if (a) the worker is required to wear a different respirator for which they haven’t been previously fit-tested; (b) workplace conditions change, including temperature, clothing worn or physical exertion that may require additional fit-testing; (c) if the worker discloses a change in the health status that requires their ability to wear a respirator to be re-validated; or (d) if more frequent fit testing is required based on the recommendation of a licensed health professional or if outlined in the employer’s written Respiratory Protection Program.
Yes. Before any worker is fit-tested for a respirator, they must undergo a medical evaluation completed by a licensed health care professional. This evaluation is intended to verify that use of the respirator will not cause an unreasonable and/or unsafe physiological burden on the worker considering the type of respirator worn, the workplace conditions in which the respirator is used, the physical exertion involved in the task performed, and the effect of any potential underlying health conditions. The medical evaluation will also provide the person administering the fit test with information on the worker’s restrictions or functional limitations that may impact their use of a respirator.
Selecting an appropriate respirator starts with conducting a comprehensive risk assessment of the respiratory hazards present in the workplace. This assessment must include consideration of the type of work performed, the presence of specific chemical agents and their physical states, as well as monitoring data that quantifies the estimated exposure of workers to these agents and other factors that could impact respirator performance, including physical exertion levels, temperature, humidity and clothing worn. This assessment must be documented.
Cority’s Risk Assessment module is an invaluable tool to help organizations develop, maintain and continuously approve these assessments, and integrates directly with our Survey & Monitoring modules within our comprehensive, market-leading IH solution.
“Fast-fit testing” refers the “modified ambient aerosol condensation nuclei counter (CNC) quantitative fit testing protocols for full facepiece and half-mask elastomeric respirators and filtering facepiece respirators, approved by OSHA in September 2019.
These new QNFT protocols enable organizations to complete fit-testing more efficiently on a specific range of respirators by reducing the number of exercises required during the fit test from 8 to 4, thereby reducing the estimate duration of testing from 7.25 minutes to 2.5 minutes – a 67% reduction!
It’s estimated that these changes will enable organizations to improve the efficiency of respirator fit-testing without compromising the safety and health of employees.
Cority’s market-leading IH solutions integrates directly with external respirator fit testing units, including PortaCount™ and OHD™ QuantFit that accommodates this new testing protocol. As a result, Cority clients can leverage these new “fast-fit” protocols to complete efficient fit testing, improving worker protection and regulatory compliance.
Here are the key things to watch out for when receiving new respirators and face masks so you can determine what's legitimate and easily spot the fakes.
Developed by safety professionals, the Respirator Fit Testing within our IH solution is an important tool to help safety and industrial hygiene professionals manage all aspects of their respirator fit programs.
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