Fit Testing: Respiratory Protection
Use of respirator protection is guided by Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Standard 1910.134: Personal Protective Equipment.
Respirator fit testing performed to determine if an employee can maintain an acceptable respiratory fit and seal.
Fit testing must be done prior to use, whenever a different respirator is worn, and at least annually thereafter.
Fit testing will be administered using an OSHA-accepted qualitative fit test or quantitative fit test protocol.
The employee must be tested with the same make, model, style, and size of respirator that will be used.
When to fit test
- After subject is medically cleared for respirator use, and annually thereafter
- Before the subject wears the respirator in the workplace
- Facial changes
- Significant weight change
- Change of respirator size, make, model
- Whenever employee reports a problem with fit
Factors affecting respirator seal
- Facial hair
- Facial bone structure
- Facial scars
- Excessive makeup
Qualitative and quantitative fit test
Follow the OSHA outlined requirements for fit test protocols in 1910.134 Appendix A: Fit Testing Procedures (Mandatory).
- Compares concentration of dust particles outside respirator to concentration of particles in respirator
- Respirators with tight-fitting facepieces must not be worn by employees who have facial hair or any condition that interferes with the face-to-facepiece seal
- Corrective glasses or goggles or other PPE must be worn in a manner that does not interfere with the face-to-facepiece seal
- Employees wearing tight-fitting respirators must perform a user seal check each time they put on the respirator using the procedures in Appendix B-1 or equally effective manufacturer’s procedures
Respirator seal requirements
- Facial hair, jewelry, and glasses must not come into contact with the respirator seal.
User seal check
- An action conducted by the respirator user to determine if the respirator is properly seated to the face
- 1910.134 Appendix B-1: User Seal Check Procedures (Mandatory)
Appendix B-1 to Respiratory Protection Standard; facepiece positive and/or negative pressure checks, manufacturer's recommended user seal check procedures.
Fit test forms
- Qualitative Fit Test (QLFT) Form (PDF)
This form is used by the person performing the fit testing.
Step 7: Maintenance Program