Workplace Fit Testing and OSHA Respirator Clearance
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Standard 1910.134 requires annual respiratory fit testing for all employees who use respirators. The required OSHA form and additional information is available here.
LVHN Occupational Medicine locations can perform respiratory fit testing in two different ways – quantitative or qualitative. The quantitative test is best for full face and half face masks and respirators where it is important to measure exactly how well the mask fits. For N95 masks and for testing where only a pass/fail result is needed, a qualitative test can be performed.
Qualitative fit testing
Qualitative fit testing is the traditional pass/fail test that relies on the subject’s voluntary/involuntary response to challenge agents (i.e. taste, smell, irritation). They can be performed at any of the LVHN Occupational Medicine locations or onsite for large groups. Note: Qualitative testing is the only form of test that we perform to accommodate N95 masks.
Quantitative fit testing
Quantifit is available at our HealthWorks–Allentown location or as an onsite service for large groups.
HealthWorks uses Quantifit because it provides the gold standard for respirator fit testing. Quantifit meets OSHA regulations as well as National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. It’s fast, reliable, and uses negative pressure technology to provide a direct measurement of respirator leakage. The 5-step REDON Fit Testing Protocol requires the employee to remove and put his or her mask back on twice during the test process allowing assessment of the employee in the proper donning of the respirator.
OSHA requires a respiratory questionnaire to be filled out by all employees undergoing a respirator fit test to make sure employees are healthy enough to use a respirator. The questionnaire must be reviewed by a physician prior to the test being conducted. An LVHN provider can perform the review of the questionnaire at the testing appointment; however, it is needed 48 hours in advance of the fit test if it is being conducted onsite.
Respirator medical exams
Medical exams for individuals using a respirator are available. They are required if there are responses on the respirator questionnaire that present a medical concern. A medical exam can be performed to determine appropriate types of respirators that may be worn and/or activity restrictions while wearing a respirator.
For more information about LVHN Occupational Medicine services, contact HealthWorks@LVHN.org or call Scott Appnel at 610-969-2972.