Employers And Workers Need To Know This About Face Fit Testing For Respirators
In Ontario, Occupational Health and Safety legislation often requires face fit testing to be performed as part of a sound overall respiratory protection program, which should also include policies, procedures, and fit test training. They note, “The test must be performed before the worker first uses the respirator.” The test is often referred to as a 3M fit test since 3M masks are among the most popular.
A “fit test” is performed to determine if a respirator such as an N95 or KN95 mask fits the user’s face properly. If the respirator is to provide adequate protection it must form a tight seal against the wearer’s face. Our fit testers use specialized equipment to make this determination.
Mask fit testing is mandatory when a user is required to wear a respirator on the job. The fit test certification needs to be attained annually or whenever a different size, style, model or make of respirator is used. Any change in facial hair or significant weight fluctuation would require face fit testing to be renewed as fit could be adversely affected.