Respirators are used to protect against airborne hazards, such as dusts, mists, fumes, gases and vapours.They must fit tightly on your face, or you could breathe in hazardous substances. That's why Respirator fit testing NZ is required for all employees who need a respirator to do their jobs. Regular Fit Testing is also required once every two years under OHSA regulations.
The most effective way to reduce the risk of inhaling substance is by using a respirator which provides protection from the full range of air-borne contaminants that may be present in the workplace environment. However a respirator does not create an enclosure around your head so there is always a slight leakage of air. This means some contaminants may enter a respirator and come into contact with a worker's face. A tight seal must be formed between the face and respirator to ensure that leakage is eliminated. When you wear a tight fitting facepiece, it is important that it fits properly.
A poorly fitting facepiece could allow hazardous airborne particles to get inside the respirator because of gaps between your skin and the mask; around the nose; around the chin; between facial hair (e.g., beard or sideburns); or at any one of several other locations where there are not enough seals to form an effective fit against your face. A poor fit may also occur if you have used drugs, cosmetics, cleansers, lotions, etc., which might make your skin oilier or drier, thicker or thinner.
A poor fit reduces the protection provided by your respirator. To ensure that the respirator you use provides you with the greatest level of protection, it must be properly selected and fitted to your face. It is important to conduct Respirator Fit Testing to ensure that the mask seals properly against your face before you begin wearing it in a contaminated atmosphere. You can not test a tight fitting facepiece for leaks simply by blowing into it. A particular make, model and size could leak for one person but seal perfectly for another because of differences like facial hair (particularly beards), different sized faces, etc. Before you rely on any respirator's ability to protect you from contaminated air, you must be tested to ensure that it fits your face properly.
If there are gaps around the seal of the respirator on your face, contaminated Workplace exposure monitoring NZ air can leak into the respirator and cause a hazardous situation.
You could breathe in hazardous substances which might make you sick or injure you. For this reason it is extremely important that all employees who need a tight fitting facepiece respirator to do their jobs have them fit-tested before they use them in a hazardous environment.