Respirator Fit

Respirator Fit

  • Respirators must fit properly to prevent solvent vapor leaks around the edges.
  • Fit-testing must be done before first wearing a respirator and annually thereafter.
  • Beards are not allowed when wearing most respirators because they will leak.
  • Some loose-fitting respirators such as Power Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) do not require fit-testing and can be used with beards

All respirators that rely on a mask-to-face seal must be fit tested to validate the seal is air-tight. This fit test must be performed:

  • Prior to first issue.
  • When there’s a change in the model, style or size of respirator used.
  • When there’s a physical facial change in the person wearing the mask.
  • At a minimum annually.

Guiding Regulation: (OSHA’s) Respiratory Protection Standard, 29 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) 1910.134 Appendix A – Fit Testing Procedures (Mandatory)

There are two categories of Fit testing – Qualitive and Quantitive

  • Qualitative  – relating to, measuring, or measured by the quality of something rather than its quantity.
  • Quantitative – relating to, measuring, or measured by the quantity of something rather than its quality.  

We will review the requirements of each.