Environmental, Health and Safety Services

Respirator Fit Testing

Fit testing is required for all employees wearing a tight fitting respirator. EHSS personnel or designated trained staff for the Agricultural Research and Extension Centers(ARECs) will conduct the test to ensure the proper fit of the respirator. The fit test is to be conducted before an employee needs to wear a respirator for a specific task/job, whenever a different facepiece is used, when there are changes in the employee's physical condition that might affect the respirator fit, and annually thereafter.

At Virginia Tech, respirator fit tests are conducted using the controlled negative pressure technique and the REDON protocol for all types of tight fitting respirators. In some cases the irritant smoke test will be used for respirators requiring a fit-factor less than 500 (all types of air purifying half face respirators). The procedures for each type of fit test follow the requirements of the OSHA Respiratory Protection standard.

Each employee will be fit tested with the make, model and size of the respirator that they will actually wear. Employees will be given the opportunity to choose the most comfortable facepiece from a number of manufacturers and are required to bring in the respirator they use at the time of fit test. For employees that are new to the Respiratory Protection Program, a respirator selected at the time of their initial appointment with EHSS.

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