New Quantitative Fit Testing Method Proposal

If you want your employees fit-tested using quantitative fit-testing methods, it presently takes 7.2 minutes if done in accordance with the present standard.

Admitting that this might be a bit long, OSHA is proposing to adopt three new fit test methods, one for each of the main types of respirators used when doing quantitative fit testing: Full-Face Respirators, Half-Mask Respirators and Filtering Facepiece Respirators (FFR). These new methods would be known, respectively as the “Fast-Full Method”, “The Fast-Half Method” (OSHA was wise enough not to invert those first two words and label it the Half-Fast Method as it might be awkward for fit testers to explain to their clients why they were doing a half-fast job of fit testing employees!) and the Fast FFR Method.

Essentially these new methods would “include only 3 of the 7 current test exercises (i.e., bending, head side-to-side, and head up-and-down) plus a new exercise (i.e., jogging-in-place), and reduce each exercise duration“. These “Fast Methods” would reduce the time it takes to fit test someone down to 2.5 minutes instead of the current 7.2 minutes.

OSHA is presently seeking comments on this proposed amendment to the fit testing standard. Comments and further clarification can be found online at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=OSHA-2015-0015-0002

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