At the end of this module, you will be able to:
- Explain why a respirator medical evaluation is necessary
- Explain why a respirator fit test is necessary
- Explain the order in which the medical evaluation, the fit test, and actual respirator use on the job should occur
- Identify some medical conditions that might interfere with your use of a respirator
- Identify some conditions that might interfere with the fit of a tight-fitting respirator
- Identify some reasons why you may need to have a repeated respirator fit test
- Explain how to perform a negative-pressure daily fit test for an air-purifying respirator
- Explain how to perform a positive-pressure daily fit test for an air-purifying respirator
- Explain how to perform a positive-pressure daily fit test for an air-supplying respirator
The following key questions are answered in this module:
What is a respirator medical evaluation?
A medical evaluation determines if you are medically able to wear a respirator on the job. This is done before you wear the respirator at work.
What is a respirator fit test?
A test to determine if a respirator you'll wear at work fits you and creates a proper seal. This is done after the respirator medical evaluation but before you wear the respirator at work.
What is a daily respirator fit test?
A test performed by the worker every time he or she puts on a respirator to make sure the seal is still effective.
Does one medical evaluation cover all respirators?
No, a worker will have to get a medical evaluation for each respirator he or she might wear.
Does a fit test cover all respirators?
No, a worker will have to complete a fit test for all respirators he or she must wear.
Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:
If you're assigned a task at work that requires you to wear a respirator, you must first take a medical evaluation to make sure you're physically able to wear a respirator that protects you from the specific hazards you'll face on the job. Your employer should set up and pay for the evaluation. Any information you provide during your medical evaluation should be kept private. This medical evaluation must happen before you receive a fit test for the respirator and before you wear the respirator on the job. If you're later assigned a different task that requires the use of a different type of respirator, you'll have to undergo another medical evaluation for that respirator as well.
Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – www.osha.gov
- OSHA Safety and Health Topics - https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/respiratoryprotection/index.html
- Mine Safety and Health Administration – www.msha.gov
- MSHA Black Lung - http://www.msha.gov/endblacklung/
- MSHA Silicosis Prevention - http://www.msha.gov/S&HINFO/SILICO/SILICO.HTM
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) – www.cdc.gove/niosh/
- CDC/NIOSH Respirators - http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/respirators/default.html