A Respirator Mask Fit Test is conducted to ensure the respirator is properly fitted to an individual’s face type to provide the safest protection. Typically there are 2 types of tests that can done, known as a Qualitative test or a Quantitative test.
A Qualitative Respirator Mask Fit Test is the most common type of test and covers most of the regularly used workplace masks such as N95, half face and full face respirators. The test involves the taste sensitivity of the person being tested and can be applied to any type of mask that does not have its own separate air supply.
The Quantitative Respirator Mask Fit Test requires the use of a Portacount or a Quantafit machine to measure the safety of the mask via the fixed air supply. It does not rely on the test sensitivity of a subject but rather it provides a fit factor safety measurement.
Both types of Respirator Mask Fit Test must be conducted at least every 2 years and should be done sooner if the wearer has gained weight, lost weight or has grown facial hair since their previous test. The tests can only be performed by a qualified instructor.
An important fact to know when wearing masks of any kind is that you are only as safe as your mask. This means that the wearer is responsible for correctly wearing the mask and should always be aware if something does not seem to fit right. Workplace environments have the potential to be life threatening so always make sure your mask fits correctly.
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