Mask-Fit Testing ensures that participants are wearing the proper mask size and type for the shape of their face and head. A proper mask fit ensures that particulates are properly filtered and that no leaks occur around the seal.
Mask-Fit Testing ensures that participants are wearing the proper mask size and type for the shape of their face and head.
A proper mask fit ensures that particulates are properly filtered and that no leaks occur around the seal.
The CSA Standard is once every two years, but employers should check their provincial requirements to ensure they’re compliance. SureHire recommends annual mask-fit testing, in conjunction with spirometry testing and X-rays to continue to protect workers’ lung health through medical monitoring and early intervention.
SureHire performs qualitative and quantitative mask-fit testing.
Quantitative mask-fit testing is the gold standard and produces a numerical measurement of the “fit factor” of a respirator.
The measurement is made while the person performs dynamic movements and breathing exercises resembling those experienced in the workplace in order to stress the respirator seal.
Quantitative mask-fit testing offers several distinct advantages:
It eliminates the reliance on the participant’s subjectivity and sensitivity when detecting agents with qualitative testing.
Results are immediate and deliver either a ‘pass’ or ’fail’ using a numerical value. Results can be maintained electronically and each worker receives a card with their testing information.
The test can be used to analyze almost all respirators including elastomeric half and full-face masks, PAPRs, SCBA, and even disposable regulators.
The quantitative mask-fit testing software complies with many regulatory standards including those from the Canadian Standards Association.
Qualitative Mask-Fit Testing is a pass/fail method of testing by determining whether participants can detect an odour while wearing a mask. A bitter or sweet odour is injected into a test booth or a hood and if the participant cannot detect the odour, the test is considered a pass. This type of testing is performed on disposable and half-face masks.
The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) recommends that individuals complete a fitness-to-wear respirator questionnaire prior to a mask-fit test to ensure that they are medically safe to wear a respirator and participate in the mask-fit testing protocol.
The purpose is to prevent a worker from suffering a negative medical effect from wearing a mask when they should not be wearing one due to a medical condition.
Specific answers on the questionnaire trigger a doctor’s review and the worker can either take the referral to their own doctor or have the information electronically sent to an independent physician for review and clearance.
Once the worker is cleared by the questionnaire and/or a physician, the worker is able to participate in the mask-fit testing protocol.