Respirator Fit Testing in Laredo, TX
If you own or manage a business in Laredo, Texas, VitalMed Urgent Care is a valuable occupational health care resource. Our comprehensive occupational medicine services include respirator fit testing for your employees who work around harmful dust or fumes. As required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), these employees must wear a respirator to reduce their exposure to breathable toxins, and they are required to complete a Quantitative Fit Test (QNFT) prior to using it.
Preparing for a Respirator Fit Test
First, you’ll need to select an appropriate NIOSH-certified respirator based on the employee’s job duties, the type and concentration of toxins he or she will be exposed to and the duration of his or her exposure. Second, you’ll need to provide your employee with time to complete an OSHA Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire.
When your employee comes to VitalMed for respirator fit testing, he or she will need to bring the completed questionnaire, the respirator and any personal protective equipment (PPE) that could interfere with the respirator’s seal. Some examples include face shields, safety glasses, hearing protection, hard hats and coveralls. Also, because facial hair can interfere with respirator fit testing, male employees are asked to be clean shaven for their fit test.
What the Respirator Fit Test Covers
Respirator fit testing starts with a medical evaluation and review of the completed questionnaire to determine whether the employee is medically able to wear the respirator, and if so, whether he or she has any medical limitations for using it.
If we clear the employee to wear the respirator, we will use a special instrument and OSHA-accepted protocols to measure any leakage around its protective seal. During the fit test, the employee will be asked to perform several exercises to simulate workplace activities, such as breathing normally, breathing deeply, moving his or her head up and down and from side to side, bending at the waist, speaking, smiling and frowning. When the test is complete, the provider will assign a numeric leakage measurement known as the “fit factor.” A fit factor of at least 100 is required for half-mask respirators, and a fit factor of at least 500 is required for full-face negative-pressure respirators.
VitalMed Urgent Care performs respirator fit testing at both of our locations in Laredo, TX. Our providers can ensure that you comply with OSHA regulations, and that your employees are safe and healthy on the job. Contact us today to learn more about our occupational health services.