Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) is a type of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that protects people from breathing in substances hazardous to health. Fit testing ensures that workers are wearing proper fitting respiratory protective equipment or RPE. As facial characteristics vary from person to person, it’s unlikely that one model or size of RPE will fit everyone. Tight-fitting respirators must seal to the wearer’s face in order to provide expected protection. ASNZ 1715: Selection, use and maintenance of respiratory protective equipment requires all tight fitting respirators, including disposable dust masks, are fit tested to ensure they adequately protect workers. This is an annual requirement and forms the backbone of a reparatory protection programme. All of the following RPE require fit testing.
The best masks for use to protect against Covid 19 are N95, FFP2, P2, and KN95. All these masks are equivalent under their relevant testing standards (American = N95, FFP2 = European, P2 = Australia/NZ, and Chinese = KN95). As masks come in a variety of shapes and sizes it is important to ensure they fit well and create a tight fitting seal so that when you breath all the air is drawn through the filter material. For private use you can largely do this yourself however in a workplace setting it needs to be properly assessed by completing a Fit Test. Safe and Sound can assist with this and provide contacts for you to source suitable, non-forgery masks. We can provide fit testing New Zealand wide including Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown, Wanaka, Nelson, Wellington, Auckland, Palmerston North, Tauranga, and others, Contact us today to discuss how we can help you.
There are two types of fit testing: Quantitative Fit Testing (QNFT) & Qualitative Fit Testing (QLFT). A quantitative fit test (QNFT) can be used to fit-test any tight-fitting respirator. It involves using an instrument to measure leakage around the face seal and produces a numerical result called a “fit factor.” A qualitative fit test (QLFT) on the other hand, is a pass/fail test and relies on the user’s senses tasting a challenge agent. Safe & Sound Solutions has qualified fit testers who have demonstrated competency under the NZOHS Commit2Fit scheme and can complete fit tests nationwide. During the fit test training will also be provided on the storage, cleaning, and maintenance of your RPE. We can also provide assistance with the selection of RPE and filters that will provide adequate protection to your workers. As well as being able to fit test your respirators we also have a range of brands, styles, and sizes of RPE we so can fit test you before you buy.