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What OSHA Says About Respirator Fit Testing

By January 14, 2019February 17th, 2022Blog Post

OSHA has stated that they do not certify the devices used in performance of the fit tests, but do certify the Fit Test Protocols.

The AccuFIT9000 has been designed to meet the requirements of the Condensation Nuclei Counting Fit Test protocol as described in 29 CFR 1910.134

Statement of Compliance with 29 CFR 1910.134 (CNC Method)

In December of 2006 OSHA Office of Training and Education Issued a document titled MAJOR REQUIREMENTS OF OSHA’S RESPIRATORY PROTECTION STANDARD 29 CFR 1910.134.

(f) Fit Testing All employees using a negative or positive pressure tight-fitting facepiece respirator must pass an appropriate qualitative fit test (QLFT) or quantitative fit test (QNFT). Fit testing is required prior to initial use, whenever a different respirator facepiece is used, and at least annually thereafter. An additional fit test is required whenever the employee reports, or the employer or PLHCP makes visual observations of, changes in the employee’s physical condition that could affect respirator fit (e.g., facial scarring, dental changes, cosmetic surgery, or an obvious change in body weight).

The fit test shall be administered using an OSHA-accepted QLFT or QNFT protocol, as contained in mandatory Appendix A.

QLFT Protocols: • Isoamyl acetate • Saccharin • Bitrex • Irritant smoke

QNFT Protocols: • Generated Aerosol (corn oil, salt, DEHP) • Condensation Nuclei Counter (PortaCount) • Controlled Negative Pressure (Dynatech FitTester 3000) • Controlled Negative Pressure (CNP) REDON

This document summarized the requirements OSHA deemed necessary to a successful, compliant Respiratory Protection Program.

One of the requirements was an annual fit test of the respirator(s) using an OSHA-approved protocol. At the time of publication there were only two instruments commercially available that could perform these protocols: the Dynatech FitTester3000 and the TSI PortaCount 8020. The document listed the accepted protocols (see below) and (in parentheses as examples) the commercial instruments that could perform these protocols. Dynatech has been purchased by OHD, which has in turn been purchased by Schauenburg International GmbH. The Dynatech FitTester3000 has been obsoleted as has the TSI 8020. The instruments which have replaced them are still considered to be protocol-compliant, but are not specifically mentioned in the standards.

Here is a statement in an email from Natalia Stakhiv of OSHA to Conor O’Donnell of AccuTec-IHS dated April 27, 2017:.

“…OSHA does not approve or certify any safety equipment, such as respirators or fit testing machines. Regarding fit testing, OSHA only approves/denies new fit-testing protocols, such as the qualitative and quantitative fit testing protocols found in Appendix A of the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134).”

The Condensation Nuclei Counter Method (also referred to as the Ambient Aerosol Method) is the protocol around which the AccuFIT9000 was designed.

The AccuFIT9000 performs the Fit Test Protocol as specified in 29 CFR 1910.134.

AccuTec-IHS certifies that the AccuFIT9000 meets all requirements of 29 CFR 1910.134.

Download PDF of Statement of Compliance