7 reasons why fit test training is important in a workplace

In the workplace, respiratory protection and respirator training plays a critical role as a safeguard against chemicals such as fumes, gases and dust particles. Respiratory Protection Equipment or RPE training are common at work sites, but do they actually provide the protection required? 

The Australian Standard AS/NZS1715-2009 requires that workers and supervisors receive fit test training regarding respiratory protective equipment and respirator training. 

To go into a hazardous area, participants must go through fit test training to understand the work conditions, administrative controls, facial hair requirements, respirator usage, sage, fit testing, earplug training, equipment maintenance, PortaCount training and hazard identification in general. 

It is imperative that people wearing respirators, especially those in mining, fire and rescue, hospitals and other healthcare sectors – be trained in preventing contaminants from entering the breathing zone, which may compromise their safety. Each year, the RPE certification should be renewed. 

Upon completion of this course, you will have the ability to perform qualitative and quantitative respirator fit tests. Workplaces where respirators are required will pose a respiratory threat, making respirator training a critical safety measure. 

7 reasons why fit test by Compound Services is important:

While a worker ensures our safety, the safety equipment provided to safeguard their lives must ensure their safety.  

1) Increased safety  

In environments with low oxygen levels or hazards such as dust, chemicals, gases, employees must wear respirators. If the respirator does not fit, it can’t protect you. That’s it. To function properly, tight-fitting respirators must fit on the workers’ faces with great accuracy. It is possible to breathe in hazardous substances if your respirator does not fit properly. When contaminated air leaks into your face piece, you can breathe in hazardous materials. You must, therefore, be sure that your respirator fits you perfectly before you wear one at work. During a fit test, you wear the same brand, model, and size of respirator that you will use in your job to ensure your safety throughout.   

The seal could be compromised by a variety of factors, drawing contaminated air into the lungs of workers. Thus, proper fit test training and earplug training abided by the guidelines stand out as a safety measure and protect the worker from the risk of accidents or illnesses.  

2) Hazard Identification 

Respirators are designed to prevent accidents and contaminated air from entering, however, if they don’t fit correctly, they can be hazardous to health. The fact that you work in an environment that poses an inhalation risk, you might need respiratory protection.  

A wide range of hazards may be present in a given industry, from breathing difficulties to cancer. The first step is to identify if a respirator is needed by assessing the hazards. When workers undergo a fit test and fit tests training, supervisors will review respiratory hazards with them and identify what type of respirator is needed.  

A fit test helps to determine whether the respirator is suitable for your face and whether contaminated materials are present. A respirator should be designed to protect the worker from respiratory hazards by following accepted standards for assessing respiratory risks and choosing, using, and maintaining respiratory protective equipment. When fit tests conducted from time to time show poor results, it is a sign that inhalation hazards can occur quite frequently. 

3) Hygienic Maintenance 

Industrial hygiene is vital to the health and safety of employees. A worker is always exposed to hazardous chemicals, solvents and dust, so a fit test is the best way to ensure a workplace is clean and secure.  

Fit testing not only teaches workers to wash their hands and use disinfectants before getting a test done but also keeps them aware of the importance of maintaining proper sanitation and hygiene at and during work. In the process, participants will learn how to correctly put on and remove the respirator so as to maintain hygienic conditions, thus reducing the spread of illness and risk of medical problems. 

In addition to preventing the spread of germs within your workplace, you can keep your employees motivated by maintaining a healthy work environment. 

4) Illness and death aversion 

Concerns about the safety of industrial products and processes have increased dramatically in recent years. As a result of these health hazards, workers may suffer from cancer, lung disease, other respiratory diseases, or even die.  

It is particularly important that workers’ health and safety be a priority in trades in which they may be exposed to hazardous substances, and take precautions to prevent injury, illness, and/or death. In the field, using a properly fitted respirator is mandatory. You can protect yourself if your respirator fits properly and is used properly. 

When performing a job, workers are often required to wear prescription glasses or other protective equipment. To make sure your respirator fits correctly, you need to wear the additional equipment during the fit test and ensure the correct size.  

It is imperative to know which model and size respirator fits your face properly after you’ve completed the fit testing process, as well as when and where you’ll need to wear it to protect yourself from death and severe illnesses. 

5) Aware workers about uses and limitations 

In addition to providing health and safety protection, fit tests and fit tests training expose workers to specific job hazards, importance of hearing protection trainingPortaCount training and the correct usage of protective equipment. Consequently, you become aware of the need to wear respirators when appropriate measures cannot be implemented. It also ensures that you are physically equipped to use or wear your respirator as well as understanding its limitations. 

 The fit tester should inform the wearer of the purpose of the fit test, what the wearer must do, and what the fit test results mean. It is important to tell wearers to refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, or chewing gum 30 minutes prior to the qualitative fit test. It is recommended that fit testing not be performed if the wearer has hair growing between the skin and the seal of the face piece. 

In this process, workers learn how to properly use a respirator and what not to do while using one. 

6) Hands-on practice 

The intermediate course and fit tests focus on providing on-the-ground experience and hearing protection training in order to better equip individuals with the knowledge and skills they will need in the field while ensuring their safety. Besides covering safety regulations, respiratory protection and testing, as well as qualitative fit testing practice, this course also provides field expertise.  

As a result, students gain a deeper understanding of essential industrial and respiratory hygiene principles, identify and manage key user factors, and learn about fit testing protocols with practical experience to explore and grow their skills under the guidance of a certified instructor. 

7) Everyday user seal check  

To ensure the proper functioning of the respirator and complete safety after fitting, the wearer must conduct a regular user seal check.  

During a user seal check, a respirator wearer examines whether the respirator is being worn properly. The wearer may either perform a positive pressure check (by exhaling softly while blocking the exit of air) or a negative pressure check (by inhaling strongly while blocking the entrance of air).   

Every time the respirator is put on, the user seal should be checked. A user seal check should be done every time the respirator is worn to confirm an appropriate seal is achieved once a fit test is conducted to identify the best type of respirator for that particular user. Whenever the user’s facial characteristics change, it is recommended to repeat fit testing on a regular basis based on risk assessment. With the aim to manage workplace safety and health, Compound Services conduct fit tests and fit test training.  

There are obviously more reasons as to why a fit testing training is important, but we’ve covered the more important ones for you to know and understand the gravity of the situation. Because, prevention is better than cure!  

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