Respiratory protection and fit testing
On April 8, 1998 OSHA released the long-awaited revision to the Respiratory Protection Standard 29CFR1910.134. This new revision had a far reaching inpact on industry. One of the new requirements is that OSHA now requires all tight-fitting respirator facepieces to be fit tested annually. This includes air-supplied and positive-pressure respirators such as Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR), airline respirators, and Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA).
29CFR1910.134 Apendix A (Mandartory) prescribes the protocols for fit testing. Two methods, Qualitative (QLFT) or Quantitative (QNFT) are outlined.
Test subjects shall not be permitted to wear a half mask or quarter facepiece respirator unless a minimum fit factor of 100 is obtained or a full facepiece respirator unless a minimum fit factor of 500 is obtained.
OSHA requires a fit factor of 500 for full-face masks and there is currently no approved qualitative protocol capable of determining a fit factor higher than 100, employers using tight-fitting full-face respirators must either install engineering controls to eliminate the need for full-face masks or adopt QNFT.
- NOTE: Other Standards/Regulations such as ANSI, NFPA, NRC, CSA (Canada), HSE (UK), and AS/NZS ( Australia) may also affect your program. Please consult the appropraite standard or contact us for assistance.
- May only be used to to fit test negative pressure air-purifying respirators that must achieve a fit factor of 100 or less. If you are uncertain about the level of protection your employees need contact us for a personal review of your respiratiory protection program.
- While several protocols are allowed most are challenging to perform reliably. PST offers the latest and believed to be one of the the most reliable method of ambient aerosol condensation nuclei counter (CNC) quantitative fit trsting protocol.
- Contact PST.