Respiratory Protective Equipment Advice for Employers
28 May 2017
by Dave Smith - Occupational Health Consultant at Waikato Occupational Health Consultancy.
Is the respiratory protective equipment you're providing protecting your employees?
As an employer you must provide your employees with respiratory protective equipment (RPE) when there is an airborne hazardous substance that can't be eliminated or isolated. Hazardous substances in the air can be in dust, mist, vapour or gas form. You must take all practicable steps to make sure that your employees are provided with, and have access to, and use, suitable RPE. This factsheetcovers some factors to consider when using RPE in your workplace and explains the requirement to monitor the health of employees when RPE is used to minimise a hazard.
Qualitative Fit Testing
A qualitative fit test can only be performed on disposable or half face non disposable respirators.
Testing will take approximately 20 minutes per person. This includes a sensitivity test and then the fit test.
What must the employer/ employee provide?
The employee must bring the current respirator they normally use. For non disposable they must also bring the filter/cartridge.
- This must be clean and in good condition.
- The company should provide a range of respirators and sizes from their chosen PPE provider. This will enable the tester to have a selection of respirators and sizes if the current respirator the employee wears is of incorrect size or fit. If this is being completed at the WOHC office they employee must bring these with them to the appointment.
What must the employee do prior to testing?
- Be clean shaven (the day of testing).
- No eating, drinking, chewing gum or smoking 15 minutes prior to the test.
Refer to the Worksafe website further information.
Dave Smith, BHSc, NREMT-P, CPT
Occupational Health Consultant & Fitness and Wellness Coach
Dave is an Occupational Health Consultant for Waikato Occupational Health Consultancy.
Waikato Occupational Health Consultancy (WOHC) offers your company high quality professional service delivered by a team of registered nurses with Occupational Health and Safety qualifications and experience. This service can be delivered on site, at your workplace, or at their office.
Click here for the WOHC website