Respiratory Protection & Fit Testing
Wearing respiratory protective devices to reduce exposure to airborne contaminants is widespread in industry. Although it is preferred industrial hygiene practice to use engineering controls to reduce contaminant emissions at their source, there are operations where this type of control is not technologically or economically feasible or is otherwise inappropriate. Since respirators are not as consistently reliable as engineering and work practice controls, and may create additional problems, they are not the preferred method of reducing exposures below the occupational exposure levels.
There are many variables that affect the degree of protection afforded by respiratory protective devices, and the misuse of respirators can be hazardous to employee safety and health. Selection of the wrong equipment, one of the most frequent errors made in respiratory protection, can result in the employee being exposed to increased concentrations of the harmful contaminant. Because respirator use may give the employee a false sense of security and presumed protection, an improper respirator program can actually present a high degree of hazard for the employee.
Respirators can only provide adequate protection if they are properly selected for the task; are fitted to the wearer and are consistently donned and worn properly; and are properly maintained so that they continue to provide the protection required for the work situation.
We can provide qualitative respirator fit testing for your employees who may be exposed to dusts, fumes, mists, gases, vapors, smoke and oxygen deficiency. Fit testing is provided for both disposable and non-disposable, tight fitting and loose-fitting respirators, using bitrex (bitter), saccharin (sweet), isoamyl acetate (banana oil) or stannic chloride (smoke). The specific respirator and filter, cartridge or canister selected will determine the appropriate fit test solution to be used. NOTE: Employees must have completed their medical evaluation “before” fit testing can be conducted.
We will evaluate your respirator selection, verify it is appropriate for the task being performed by the employee, and we can also evaluate your written respiratory protection program while onsite.