Respirators

Chapter 296-842, WAC

Effective Date: 12/01/09

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Fit Testing

 

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Conduct fit testing

Rules

WAC 296-842-15005

Conduct fit testing

 

Exemption

Exemption:

This section does NOT apply to any respirators that are:

  • Voluntarily used. See WAC 296-842-11005 for voluntary use requirements.
  • Mouthpiece respirators and other escape-only respirators.
  • Loose-fitting respirators.

 

Important:

  • Fit testing is an activity where the seal of a respirator is tested to determine if it's adequate.
  • This section covers general requirements for fit testing. Specific fit testing procedures are covered in WAC 296-842-22010.

You must

(1) Provide, at no cost to the employee, fit-tests for all tight fitting respirators on the following schedule:

(a) Before employees are assigned duties that may require the use of respirators;

(b) At least every 12 months after initial testing;

(c) Whenever any of the following occurs:

• A different respirator facepiece is chosen such as a different type, model, style, or size;
• You become aware of a physical change in an employee that could affect respirator fit. For example, you may observe, or be told about, facial scarring, dental changes, cosmetic surgery, or obvious weight changes;
• An employee notifies you, or your LHCP, that the respirator fit is unacceptable. During the retest, you must give an employee reasonable opportunity to select a different respirator facepiece (size, model, etc.).

Note

Note:

You may accept a fit-test completed by a previous employer if:

– You obtain written documentation of the fit-test;
and
– The results of the fit-test aren’t more than 12 months old;
and
– The employee will use the same respirator (the same type, model, style, and size);
and
– The fit test was conducted in a way that meets the requirements of WAC 296-842-15005 and 296-842-22010.


(2) Select and use appropriate fit-testing procedure from WAC 296-842-22010 of this chapter.

(3) Use quantitative fit-test methods when a negative pressure respirator will be used in concentrations requiring a protection factor greater than 10. This includes:

• Full facepiece air-purifying respirators;
• SCBAs operated in demand (negative pressure) mode;
• Air-line respirators operated in demand mode.

 

(4) Make sure tight-fitting PAPRs, SCBAs, or air-line respirators are fit tested in negative-pressure mode. This must be done by either:

 

  • (a) Temporarily converting the respirator user's actual facepiece into a negative pressure respirator using the appropriate filters;
    or
  • (b) Using an identical negative pressure air-purifying respirator facepiece as a surrogate for the SCBA, air-line or PAPR. The surrogate facepiece must have the same sealing surfaces as the SCBA, air-line, or PAPR.
  • Remove any modifications made to the respirator facepiece for fit testing and return the facepiece to the NIOSH approved configuration before the facepiece is used in the workplace.

(5) Make sure the person conducting fit testing is able to do all of the following:

(a) Prepare test solutions if required;

(b) Make sure equipment works properly;

(c) Perform tests properly;

(d) Recognize invalid tests;

(e) Calculate fit factors properly if required.

Note

Note:

• No specific training program or certification is required for those who conduct fit tests.

• You should consider evaluating these individuals to determine their proficiency in the fit-testing method to be used.

• You can use an evaluation form such as the form included in the American National Standard for Respirator Fit Testing Methods, ANSI/AIHA Z88.10-2001 to determine if the individual meets these requirements. Visit www.ansi.org or www.aiha.org.

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