How do I Know if my Respirator is Fitted Properly?

Written on Tuesday, December 8, 2009

According to OSHA, all respirators that rely on a mask-to-face seal need to be annually checked with either qualitative or quantitative methods to determine whether the mask provides an acceptable fit to a wearer.

A proper fit is necessary for your respirator to provide the maximum amount of protection that it is designed to provide. Generally speaking, there are a few steps that can be taken to ensure that your respirator is properly fitted.

When getting ready to put on your respirator, hold it in the palm of your hand with the nose contour at your fingertips and let the head straps hang loosely on the outsides of your palm.

Place the respirator on your face, with the nose contour up around your nose. Pull the shorter strap around your head so it is below the ears and around the neck. Place the longer strap around the crown area of the back of your head. Both straps must be used for proper fitting.

Adjust the straps so that the respirator fits snugly but comfortably around your face.

Check the seal by cupping your hands over the respirator and inhaling sharply. A negative pressure should be felt inside respirator. If any leakage is detected at respirator edges, adjust the straps and/or reposition the respirator on your face. The seal should be checked each time you wear the respirator.

Written by: Carissa Kelley

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