Fit Testing The Facts
If your staff are required to wear protective respiratory masks, the simple answer is yes to ensure a well sealed fit …
Fit testing is a requirement of the AS/NZS standard.
- There are two types of tests. A quantitative test measures the amount of particulates inside the mask compared with the outside the mask, while a qualitative relies on the test subject smelling or tasting a chemical while wearing the respirator.
- You’re unlikely to pass a fit test if you have facial hair. (see the “Life Shavers video by Worksafe” – easy google term). Persuasive value if you need demonstrate the facts to your staff.
- There’s an actual qualification for fit testers called “Commit2Fit”, (not to be confused with the fitness app). You should use a competent fit tester, a person who has undergone the training and is certified under the Australian New Zealand Standard AS/NZS1715
- You should be fit tested annually or anytime your face shape changes (i.e., after dental work or after a significant weight change).
- A quantitative fit test only takes around 15 minutes and gives you peace of mind for up to 12 months and helps to ensure the correct fit which means your workers are far less likely to suffer from respiratory diseases such as asthma which has become a common workplace ailment.