Respirator Fit Test – Why it is Important?

 A lot of jobs require people to work in zones that are hazardous. To protect the people who are working in these zones, they wear respirators. Respirators help protect the workers from breathing in these toxins by covering their mouth and nose, blocking them from any toxins in the environment. Of course, you don’t want to give someone a bad respirator. 

Doing this will expose them to harmful toxins and can have a negative impact on their health. You will want to undergo respirator fit test to make sure it is safe to use and that the person who is wearing them can safely wear the respirator.

 To do this you need to fit test. What this does is it looks to make sure that the seal between the wearer’s face and the respirator’s facepiece fits properly. You won’t be protected if the equipment doesn’t fit you. There are usually two types of fit test which are qualitative and quantitative. 

Quantitative looks to see how much leakage is in the facepiece by using a machine. Qualitative uses your reaction to certain things to detect leakage. It should be noted that qualitative test are usually done on half-masked respirators.

 These tests are done a lot because our faces can change a lot, impacting the effectiveness of the respirator. Say if you lost or gained a bunch of weight, you won’t be able to wear the same respirator because it won’t fit properly. If you have a beard, you are usually required to shave. This is because the smallest space can allow the harmful toxins to get past the respirator and into your system. This is why you want as little as possible blocking the respirator from your face. 

 You can also bring your own respirator in some workplaces. If you have been using one that you feel comfortable with, you can see if it’s allowed to be worn at the job site. However, sometimes your respirator can’t be worn because it doesn’t qualify. There are a bunch of different reasons but some of them are because the model your using is old, has the wrong size, the style is wrong, or it has the wrong filters. 

You should check in with your employer to make sure that the one you are using is safe. Never assume it’s safe. This can lead to accidents and unfortunately, some of these accidents can be fatal. Always make sure your respirator is in good condition before you start working.

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