Respirator Fit Test – FAQ
In order to prevent and protect yourself from the spread or airborne illnesses as well as to comply with updated policies on PPE from the governing bodies in North America.
Simple. A FIT TEST.
A FIT TEST is the only way to determine if the respirator mask fits you properly by creating an adequate seal. This will protect you from hazardous airborne agents.
The risk is your health and safety.
A mask that doesn’t fit properly and has not sealed around your face correctly is not doing its job to protect you.
If you have never had a FIT TEST before and are required to wear a respirator you need to be Fit Tested according to the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Every year or two years depending on workplace policies, CSA standards, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations or local guidelines.
– If there are changes to your physical condition which could affect the respirator fit. This may include weight loss or weight gain, surgery, piercings or major dental work
– If you are using a new respirator make or model
You must be tested on the mask you will be using. If your mask does not pass the FIT TEST, depending on availability, Prime Practice might be able to provide an alternative model (cost and model may vary).
A mutually agreed upon time will be scheduled for your Prime
Fit Tester to be at your office.
You will be asked to provide the model of respirator mask that
you will be wearing for the FIT TEST.
Our Prime Fit Tester will secure our technology to your mask.
You will be asked to wear any additional PPE such as protective
eye wear, visors and head coverings that you would normally
wear while working.
Once connected, you will be asked to go through a series of
exercises such as talking, turning your head from side to side
and nodding. These exercises are required by the Canadian
Standards Association (CSA) (Z94.B.1.5.2) and Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines.
Throughout the testing, we will be taking measurements of the
level of particles inside the mask compared to the ambient air
outside of the mask. If there is high particle count inside the
mask, then a good seal has not been achieved. If there is a very
low particle count, the mask can be considered a good fit.
If you fail the test twice this means that the respirator mask is
not a good fit or that a good seal was not achieved.
The Prime Fit Tester will try and adjust the respirator
however if it does not achieve a better seal, then we will
recommend that you do not use that make and model. Ideally,
you have different types of respirator masks available during
the FIT TEST to help ensure that you find the right respirator.
Prime Fit Testers may have certain models available (cost,
models and availability may vary).
Yes, according to the Canadian Standards Association (Z188.8.131.52) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, every worker using a respirator must be Fit Tested if they are required to wear one.
You may have heard of the terms “Qualitative” and “Quantitative”
when describing a FIT TEST. Both test the effectiveness of a
A Qualitative FIT TEST is based on the wearer’s ability to taste
a harmless solution at very low levels and can be considered
subjective. This FIT TEST requires wearing a hood and may take
twice as long as a Quantitative test.
Prime Practice uses the newest technology in Quantitative Fit
Testing. Our leading-edge technology measures particles inside
and outside the mask requiring no hood. This test is considered
fast, easy and most reliable.
Congratulations! You are safe.
If you pass the FIT TEST, this indicates that the respirator mask
you are using is a good fit. We will then send you an email with a
printable wallet card indicating you have passed your FIT TEST
for the specific make and model of respirator that was worn
during the test.
You may need to provide proof to your governing body that you
have passed your respirator FIT TEST and training as stated in
You cannot eat, drink, chew gum, brush your teeth with
toothpaste or smoke an hour before being Fit Tested.
Drinking water is fine.
– You need to ensure that you are healthy enough to wear a
– You must be cleanshaven where the respirator seals against
the face. Absolutely NO BEARDS allowed. This is because
facial hair can prevent a proper seal.