A Faster, More Rigorous Protocol for Fit Testing Emergency Response Respirators

OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard requires that supplied air respirator facepieces be fit tested in the negative pressure mode. The methods and protocols used to meet this requirement can impose significant time and effort burdens on safety and health personnel within the semiconductor industry. A condensed REDON fit test protocol was compared with the OSHA protocol that is specified for the controlled nagetive pressure quantitative fit test method. Based on over 500 fit tests of firefighter SCBA facepieces in the negative-pressure mode, the REDON protocol produced slightly more conservative test results than the OSHA protocol. No significant difference in protocol results was found. Fit tests conducted using the REDON protocol were generally accomplished 3-5 times faster than tests conducted using the OSHA protocol. The substantial timesaving that can be realized with the REDON protocol could be applied to improving the respirator selection and training process.



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