Canadian Manufacturing

OHS Canada: How to perform a proper N95 fit test

Users of tight-fitting respirators require fit testing every two years or sooner

May 6, 2020  by OHS Canada

A respirator fit test is crucial to a well-designed respirator protection program. PHOTO: OHS Canada/Adobe Stock

COVID-19 has reached pandemic proportions and the potential for a second wave of the outbreak this fall proves that complacency has no role in the control of new and potentially fatal respiratory diseases.

The leading health organizations all recommend the use of N95 tight-fitting, air-purifying respirators. N95s reduce the exposure to viruses and are also effective when exposed to tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. The prefix ‘N’ refers to not oil resistant, and the respirator will remove 95% of all particles that are at least 0.3 microns in diameter.

The Canadian Standards Association’s Z94.4 standard and provincial regulations for health-care and residential facilities, industrial establishments, and construction sites requires that all workers pass a fit test before wearing a respirator for the first time. Users of tight-fitting respirators require fit testing every two years or sooner.

A corporate respirator protection program must clarify protections available, should another wave of COVID-19 or another infectious disease strike.

Read more from OHS Canada, Canada’s occupational health and safety magazine, and one of Canadian Manufacturing‘s sister publications.


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