Everything you need to know about Respirator Fit Test – Why and when to take it?

If you work in a toxic environment with harmful dusts, gases, fumes, etc., the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires you to use respirators. A respirator protects the wearer from poisonous atmospheres, letting them breathe with decreased exposure to respirable toxins. However, before you use a respirator, you need to complete a health evaluation and respirator fit test.

With brand new regulatory criteria for silica exposure, more workers are now required to use respirators. If you are new to the procedure, or simply require a refresher, here is a concise summary of how to get ready for and what to anticipate using a respirator fit test.

How can you prepare for a Respiratory Fit Test?

Before the test is taken, there are a few things which need to be taken care of:

Choose the respirator:
When choosing a respirator, you must consider what toxins you are exposed to, the focus of the toxins, job duties, time spent vulnerable, and more. The gear has to be NIOSH-certified. You must bring the chosen respirator for their fit evaluation.

Carry the right protective equipment:
If you wear some other personal protective equipment (PPE) that could interfere with the respirator’s seal, then you have to bring those items to the match test. This can include safety glasses, hearing protection, face shields, hard hats, and coveralls.

Shave
: If you are a male, you will need to shave your face before the test. That is a requirement by OSHA that needs to be followed for the test to be taken.

Write a medical evaluation questionnaire: OSHA requires you to fill out a medical evaluation questionnaire that needs to be checked before the respirator test.

Everything that Respirator Fit Test Covers

The respirator fit test will begin with a medical evaluation, where the Licensed Health Care Professional will examine the completed questionnaire and offer you with a written recommendation. The match test administrator does not require a particular certification, but they do need to get trained on how to conduct the exam.

The Licensed Health Care Professional’s recommendation will cover for three things:

  1. Whether you are medically able to wear the respirator, and should they have any medical limitations for utilizing it
  2. Whether you require any follow-up medical tests
  3. A statement saying that you are provided with a copy of the recommendation

When to go for a Respirator Fit Test?

  1. The Respiratory Fit Test must be taken at least once annually
  2. Every time a new size, make or model of respirator is used
  3. Every time you change the respirator due to facial change. This could be due to significant weight change, facial surgery or dental work.

Where to get the Respirator Fit Test in Long Island?

If you are in Long Island, New York, and need a respirator fit test, you may get the test done at CareMed Primary and Urgent Care. CareMed has 6 locations in Suffolk County, and the respirator fit test is available at CareMed’s Miller Place, Patchogue, and Riverhead locations.

To make an appointment for Respirator Fit Test, click here.

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