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This webinar is designed to provide attendees with an understanding of the standards, requirements, and techniques for fit testing respirators. We will review the OSHA and CSA requirements for fit testing respirators as well as the various methods for fit testing. You will gain a better understanding of fit testing from the user’s perspective and be able to discuss fit testing in a meaningful way with your customers or employees.
Topics Will Include:
- What Is Fit Testing?
- Do I Have to Fit Test?
- Quantitative vs. Qualitative
- How Do I Perform a Fit Test?
- Record Keeping & Future Testing
- Fit Test vs. Seal Check
Transcription of the Webinar
Jamie: Today, we’re very proud to present Respirator Fit Testing: Procedures, Facts, and Myths. This Safeopedia webinar is being presented by Moldex and has been made possible by SafetyWear who, by the way, celebrate their 40th year in service. Congratulations, SafetyWear.
I am now very grateful to invite Zac Brough, President of SafetyWear, to share a few words.
Zac: Yes, thank you, Jamie, and good day to all of you who are participating in today’s webinar. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to join us. I want to also thank Safeopedia and Moldex for allowing us to team up with them on today’s topic. We’re excited to sponsor the webinar, and we at SafetyWear think the topic is very relevant and timely even with all that’s going on in the world of safety today, especially with the new OSHA standards related to silica exposure specifically.
Fit testing respirators and the topics we will cover today are questions that we receive quite frequently at SafetyWear. Again, by formal introduction, my name is Zac Brough and I’m the President of SafetyWear. SafetyWear is an independent, family-owned distributor of safety products and we’re based out of Fort Wayne, Indiana. As Jamie mentioned, our company has celebrated 40 years of business last February of 2017. I personally have been part of the company 20 years professionally in various roles, but, in all reality, my entire life is I grew up with SafetyWear and now being the second generation owner.
We, at SafetyWear, want to be a partner and a resource for you and all our customers as the safety specialist you can rely on. We eat, sleep and breathe safety, so it’s kind of what we do and what we know. We educate, train and sell safety every day. We exist to help you and your organizations become safe places to work so that you and your employees make it home each night to your families.
We pride ourselves on being that one source supplier for all things safety. It’s another reason why we appreciate this opportunity today to sponsor a webinar with experts in their fields like Safeopedia and Moldex to bring additional value to your organizations and to offer yet another educational opportunity for you and all of our customers. If we can help you and your company with any safety need, we’re here to help and appreciate any opportunity. My contact information will be in some place on the slides of this presentation to come.
Circling back, Moldex is a valued SafetyNetwork.me supplier partner of ours at SafetyWear, and we’re glad to team up with them today. We try always to align our company with the smartest, most knowledgeable, most experienced and best trained safety professionals out there. Moldex certainly fits that bill as one of the premier manufacturers in the world for all respiratory and hearing-related products and solutions.
So I’ll stop talking now and turn it back over to them to get this webinar going. Thank you, and enjoy.
Jamie: Great. Thanks so much, Zac. Really appreciate it. Yes, all about our families getting home safe. Thanks for that.
Alright, to the main event. It is now my pleasure to introduce to you today’s presenter, Craig Smidt. Craig is a marketing professional with nearly 20 years of experience. He has been with the Moldex team for the past 9 years working within the marketing, project and product management. He is a Los Angeles native who attended USC and graduated with emphasis in both marketing and the entrepreneur program. In his spare time, he is an avid Crossfitter and enjoys cooking, camping and snowboarding. In fact, he is headed to the mountains to shred the gnar shortly after this webinar.
So I now invite you to sit back, relax and enjoy the presentation. With that, Craig, please take it away.
Craig: Thank you, Jamie.
Alright. As Jamie said, my name is Craig Smidt. I’m the Marketing Director for Moldex. For those of you who are not familiar with Moldex, we’re the leading manufacturer of innovative hearing and respiratory protection products.
Also on the line for Moldex, we have our VP of Technical Services, Dr. Jeffrey Birkner; and our Technical Services Manager, James Gallegos. They will be here to help answer any questions that may come up during the course of the webinar.
Alright, so what are we going to talk about? During this webinar, we’ll cover what fit testing is, how to determine if you need to conduct fit testing, the difference between qualitative and quantitative fit testing and how each are performed, regulations and best practices regarding record-keeping and future fit testing, the difference between a fit test and a seal check, we’ll address some common myths and misconceptions and then, finally, at the end, we’ll have an opportunity to answer any question.
Before we get going, this webinar will only be addressing fit testing with regards to negative pressure air purifying respirators including NIOSH-certified disposable respirators, reusable half masks and reusable full-faced respirators. We’ll not be speaking about PAPRs, SCBAs, air line or any other type of positive pressure masks.
Also, this webinar should not replace reading, understanding and using the full instructions that come with fit test kits and the equipment, and you should also read and understand the complete OSHA regulations with regard to fit testing. These regulations can be found on the OSHA website at www.osha.gov.
Okay, on with the show.
So the first question is: What exactly is fit testing? Well, as the name implies, it’s a test of the fit of a particular mask and, more specifically, a test of the seal between the mask and the wearer’s face. It generally takes about 15 to 20 mins per test. Once you successfully pass the fit test, it is required that you use the exact same manufacturer, make, model and size of mask while on the job. If you fail a fit test, then you can retry again with the same mask but, ultimately, you’ll need to find a mask that you can pass the test with and then wear that exact same manufacturer, make, model and size of mask on the job. It’s also important that at the end of a successful fit test, the test subject knows exactly what manufacturer, make, model and size of mask they pass with, as well as to be instructed and to understand when and where they must wear their respirator.
So you may be asking yourself, “Do I and my employees need to be fit tested?” The answer is: it depends. Here’s the exact wording from the OSHA standard 1910.134: “A respirator shall be provided to each employee when such equipment is necessary to protect the health of such employee. The employer shall provide the respirators, which are applicable and suitable for the purpose intended.”
So after hearing that, is the respirator necessary to protect the health of your employee? If the answer is yes, then you have a mandatory respiratory program and you must conduct fit testing for your employees that need to wear a respirator. If the answer is no, then you have the option to have a voluntary respiratory program and you have the option of conducting fit testing at your own discretion. If you have a voluntary respiratory program, then there are still a few things you are required by OSHA to do. If you have employees that choose to wear a respiratory, then you must maintain a written respiratory program. The exception to this rule is if you only have employees who choose to wear filtering face pieces, or what many people would call dust masks or disposable respirators. Additionally, any employee that chooses to wear any respiratory, disposable or not, must be provided with a copy of OSHA 1910.134 Appendix D, which basically says read and understand all of the instructions on use and maintenance that came with your respirator, choose the appropriate respirator for your environment, don’t wear your respirator in environments where it wasn’t designed for and keep track of your respirator.
Now if you have a mandatory respiratory program, then the requirements of the written respirator program that you must have and maintain are quite a bit more extensive. They include, but are not limited to, topics such as: selection of the appropriate respirator, medical evaluations, fit testing procedures, respirator use and maintenance, air quality sampling, training of employees on proper use of respirators and procedures for the evaluation of the effectiveness of the program itself.
Now I know a lot of you out there may be thinking, “This is a lot. Help me.” Don’t worry, Moldex is happy to help. We have online resources, and a friendly and knowledgeable technical services department that can help you get your written respiratory program all set up.
Okay, so now you’ve discovered that you must perform respiratory fit testing for your employees. Now what? There are two types of fit test accepted by OSHA: qualitative and quantitative. The differences between the two come down to bananas versus computers.
A qualitative fit test relies on the test subject’s response to a test agent such as saccharine that tastes sweet, isoamyl acetate, which smells like bananas, Bitrex that has a bitter taste, and irritant smoke that makes you cough. Moldex does not recommend the use of irritant smoke. The official Moldex qualitative fit test kit uses Bitrex.
Conversely, a quantitative fit test visually compares the number of particles in the air outside of the respirator with the number of particles in the air inside of the respirator to determine total mask leakage. It uses a piece of sophisticated equipment such as the PortaCount from TSI or the Quantifit from OHD.
Qualitative fit tests are subjective. Do you smell this? Do you taste this? Quantitative fit test are objective. The computer does all of the measuring. One big difference comes in relation to a full-face respirator. When a full-face is tested using a qualitative method, it can only be used in an environment where the contaminant is below 10x the OSHA permissible exposure limit or PEL. However, when quantitatively fit tested, a full-face mask can be used in environments up to 50x the OSHA PEL.
Moldex is also happy to help here. For qualified end-users, we can provide “Train-the-Trainer” service free of charge where a Moldex representative can train and certify your own internal employees to be qualified to perform the fit testing procedures, which can potentially save the company thousands of dollars on fit testing services. We also have loan-out programs for both PortaCount and Quantifit cartridges.
So now you’ve determined that you need to conduct fit testing and you’ve decided on one of the methods, either qualitative or quantitative. Next, you’ll need to know how to conduct your chosen type of test. Once again, you must read and understand all of the instructions that come with your fit test kit or fit test equipment, and also do not hesitate to ask your Moldex representative or go to www.moldex.com/webinar for more information about our free Train-the-Trainer program.
As I mentioned earlier, the respirator that your employee intends to use on the job must be exactly the same manufacturer, make model and size as the one you’re going to use for the fit test. Any facial hair such as a beard or mustache that could interfere with the seal of the mask to the face, disqualifies the subject from using a tight-fitting respirator or reusable respirator. If the test subject has long hair, it’s a good idea to tie it back. If the test subject wears eyeglasses while on the job or wears any other equipment on their head or face that could potentially interfere with the respirator seal, then they must wear this equipment too during the test. Finally, the test subject should be instructed not to eat, drink, smoke or chew gum for at least 15 mins before the test. As I said earlier, for a qualitative fit test, you can use either saccharine, banana oil, irritant smoke, which Moldex does not recommend, or if you choose to use the Moldex fit test kit, Bitrex.
For a fit test using Bitrex, you’ll need a hood, two nebulizers that produce a fine mist, the Bitrex fit test solution, a sensitivity solution that ensures the subject has the ability to taste Bitrex and, of course, the respirator that you intend to fit test with. All of these parts, except for the respirator, are included in the Moldex qualitative fit test kit.
Going over the entire test would take too long for this webinar, but we have created a step-by-step instructional video on how to perform a qualitative fit test using the Moldex Bitrex fit test kit. The video can be accessed on the Moldex website, on our YouTube channel, and we’ll also send out a link and a follow-up email after this webinar. Full instructions are also included in the fit test kit and, once again, they should be read and fully understood before starting the test.
The equipment needed to conduct a quantitative fit test kit depends on if you will be using the TSI PortaCount system or the OHD Quantifit system. Both are acceptable quantitative fit test system. The TSI PortaCount system uses a mask that’s been fitted with a probe in the case of its disposable masks or a special probe cartridge if you’re testing a reusable half or full-face mask. The OHD Quantifit can only be used to fit test reusable masks and uses special cartridges designed specifically for the masks you intend to test.
Again, we’ve created step-by-step instructional videos for the initial set up of a quantitative fit test, and then both TSI and OHD have detailed videos on how to conduct the actual fit test using their respective systems. Just as a reminder, please don’t hesitate to ask your local Moldex rep or go to www.moldex.com/webinar for information for our free PortaCount and Quantifit loan-out programs for qualified end users.
There are some record-keeping requirements associated with fit testing as well as regular schedules that must be followed to be in compliance with the OSHA standard. The employer must retain written information regarding medical evaluations, fit testing and, of course, your written respiratory program. This information must be made readily available if requested by an OSHA representative. Additionally, all of the information gathered during a fit test must be retained as well.
Here are a few examples of ways to keep record of the fit testing results. These are certificates and records that come as a part of the Moldex Bitrex fit test kit and cover all of the necessary information such as: the name of the employee being tested, the type of test performed, specifics about the respirator used and pass/fail results. Also seen here in the middle is a wallet card that is also included in the Moldex kit. It’s a good way to make sure that the employee knows the specifics of the mask they were fit tested on like model number and size.
Fit testing must be done before the first time an employee wears a given respirator. Then, assuming no changes to the mask or the face of the employee, annually after that. There are some tests, such as asbestos abatement, where OSHA requires more frequent retesting. In Canada, the regulations of fit testing must be performed every two years.
If there are any change in the mask the employee is wearing, such as a change of manufacturer, a change of model or a change of size, then you must retest. Also, if there’s any change that might affect the shape or features of the employee’s face, then you also must retest. These might include drastic change in weight, major dental work and even facial surgery or excessive scarring.
Alright, we’re getting close to the end now. Let’s take a quick look at the difference between a fit test and a fit check or a seal check. There are several key differences. The first is who bears the responsibility.
Fit testing is the responsibility of the employer while seal checks are the responsibility of the employee. As we’ve been discussing, a fit test requires the use of a specialized equipment, but a seal check can be performed with only the wearer’s own hands. Fit tests are performed initially and annually, but seal checks are performed each time a wearer puts on a mask and periodically throughout the day. Finally, a fit test determines the overall fit of a given mask, and once that’s been established, frequent seal checks determine if you have the mask put on and adjusted correctly.
Alright, the last thing. I’m just going to go through a few myths and common misconceptions regarding fit testing. The first myth or misconception that we’ve often heard is that disposable respirators don’t need to be fit tested. This is false. If you have a mandatory respiratory program, then all tight-fitting respirators in use must be fit tested regardless if they’re disposable or reusable.
The next myth is one that I heard just last week. What defines a respirator is that it has an exhale valve and all respirators must be fit tested, therefore, masks with an exhale valve must be fit tested. Again, this is false. An exhale valve is only there to let hot exhaled air out faster and has no bearing on if the mask needs to be fit tested and, certainly, does not define a mask as a respirator.
One last myth for you all. A fit check serves the same purpose as a fit test and the two can be used interchangeably. Now if you’ve been paying attention, you will know the answer to this one. It’s obviously false. Fit checks and fit tests are not the same thing and one cannot be substituted for the other. Just as a reminder, a fit check is performed to verify that the mask is seated correctly on the user’s face before they enter a contaminated area. Fit checks should also be done periodically throughout the day to ensure that the seal is maintained.
Alright, that’s all folks. I’d like to thank you all for the opportunity to speak with you today. I’d also like to extend a special offer to the qualified end users in the audience to give Moldex respirators a try absolutely for free. Just go to www.moldex.com/webinar for more information on that.
Now we have Jeff Birkner and James Gallegos on the line to help answer any questions you may have. Jamie?
Jamie: Great. Thanks, Craig. Yes, there are quite a few questions coming in from the audience, so we’ll get right to them.
Question number one is from John. He says, “Do you have a recommendation of which tester to use? PortaCount or Quantifit?”
Jeff: They’re both accepted by OSHA. Moldex has a loan program for PortaCount. We don’t have an in-house Quantifit, we do provide some of the specialized cartridges. But, you know, it’s really up to the employer and their program manager.
Jamie: Right, thank you, Jeff. Alright, another question from another John. Can medical records be retained by an off-site facility that actually does our questionnaires and/or actual PFTs? Would we just retain the medical approval form that they sent us?
Jeff: Yeah, that’s correct. As a matter of fact, I doubt very much that the law allows, because of privacy, that the law would allow that the employer—unless they have a clinic on site, the employer typically does not retain the medical records, but they must retain the approval by the healthcare professional.
Jamie: Alright, thank you. We have a few questions on location. First one here is, “Is the Train-the-trainer program and products available in the Republic of Ireland, specifically"—let’s just put it out globally. There are a few questions for people’s countries.
Craig: I’ll fill this one. It’s Craig again. Our company here, Moldex, in the USA serves North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and a few other parts of the far east. We have a sister company, Moldex Europe, that is based out of Germany. I believe their website is moldex-europe.com, and they would be the ones to talk to you about Ireland and UK, anywhere in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East. So I would get in touch with them over there and they may have a similar program.
Jamie: Great. Thank you, Craig. Alright, we have a question here from Ryan. I have an employee who has a full beard and does not want to shave it. What can or should I do in this situation?
Zac: This is Zac at SafetyWear. I’m happy to jump in on this one. It’s pretty easy. The answer would be this employee would not be able to wear any tight fitting respirator due to the beard. The OSHA respiratory standard specifically states that respirators should not be worn when facial hair comes between the ceiling surface of the face piece and the face. The only option really would be to move up to PAPR, a loose-fitting, powered air-purifying respirator or a supplied air loose-fitting respirator. We have sources for those solutions as well, so I just encourage you get a hold of me and we’ll be happy to help.
Jamie: Great. Thank you, Zac. Evan has a question here. Is the Train-the-trainer required legislatively for the tester in Canada?
Jeff: There needs to be some training, but—well, it’s a multi-layered answer. First of all, in Canada, the regulations go by province. TSA standard is really not the law, it’s a recommended practice. As far as Train-the-Trainer, you have to look at that standard and use good judgment in having somebody who’s qualified. It doesn’t specifically say that you’ve got to use Train-the-trainer, but you’ve got to have somebody qualified to do the training and run your program.
Jamie: Great, thank you for that. Here’s a question, “Why does Moldex not recommend irritant smoke testing?”
Jeff: There’s a good answer for that. There have been cases where the irritant smoke was misused and actually—not for our respirators, but it has been misused and people have actually done the fit test irritant smoke with irritant smoke got beneath the hood, and that is extremely dangerous. I believe it actually, in one case, resulted in a fatality. So we don’t recommend it. We just feel it’s not worth taking the risk when Bitrex does a very good job.
James: I also—this is James Gallegos, by the way. I also believe the NIOSH has a recommendation of not using irritant smoke on their site as well.
Jamie: Alright, thank you both for that. Joel has a question. Do you have to have medical evaluations performed annually as well?
James: No. It’s really up to the—what they call the licensed healthcare professional. Really, you want the healthcare professional to look at the complexity and the physiological load that the respirator has on an individual, and they need to decide how often, in conjunction with the employer, they need to decide how often a medical evaluation should be done.
Let me give you an example. For something like an SCBA, which is about 35 to 40 lbs, the healthcare professional might decide that a yearly medical eval is appropriate. Whereas, something such as a disposable respirator, the healthcare professional might decide every couple of years or every five years. It’s up to them.
Jamie: Great, thank you. Alright, we have a question here from Charles. I’ve been told if a nuisance/dust mask has two straps, it is defined as a respirator? Is this true?
James: What defines something as a respirator is if it’s certified by NIOSH, so it’s not true.
Craig: No, that is not true.
Jamie: Awesome, another myth busted. Great. Alright, here is—what about pulmonary function tests? How often are they required?
James: They’re not necessarily required. It’s really, again, up to the healthcare professional and the complexity of the respirator used, certainly they take into account the toxicity of the hazard and the physiological stress that the individual would be undertaking.
Jamie: Great, thank you. Alright, Scott has an interesting question here. We have guys that don’t want to shave their beards. What’s the workaround solution for this situation?
Craig: I think Zac actually just answered that same question. Zac, you want to reiterate what you said before?
Zac: Sure. Again, really, the only options would be to move up to a PAPR or a supplied air loose-fitting respirator. That way they wouldn’t need to worry about the face and the seal, and they wouldn’t have to fit test them.
Jamie: Great, thank you. Kale asks, is it advisable to still do fit testing even if I have a voluntary respiratory program?
James: This is James. It definitely can’t hurt. We always promote taking an extra precaution in your respiratory and your safety program, so taking that extra 15 to 20 mins for a voluntary program to ensure that the actual respirator fits is probably a good practice, although it may not be required.
Jamie: Great. Thank you, James. A few questions are the same on here, so we’ll get to it. Rich asks, “In the United States, how often does OSHA require fit testing?”
Jeff: Once a year.
Zac: For most tests, there are certain substance-specific guidelines such as asbestos where OSHA requires it twice a year.
Jamie: Alright, great. Thank you, guys. See here, alright, Robert asks, “Can I use the same physical mask that I used during fit testing while on the job?”
Jeff: If you qualitatively fit test that mask, the same disposable filtering face piece and, right after that, he has to go into the working environment, yes. With the quantitative fit test, unfortunately, no. Once you probe a disposable, that disposable may not be used out in the environment, contaminated area.
Craig: But with a reusable, you would be able to use the same mask because you’re just using a special probed cartridge. Once you take off that probed cartridge and replace it with the cartridge you plan to use on the job, you can use the same mask there.
Jamie: Great. Thank you, guys. Javier is asking, “Is there any difference in fit testing an N95 mask and a P100 mask?”
Jeff: Not in the procedure, no. There are some nuances for the operation of the PortaCount on certain models of PortaCount. You just have to make sure you carefully read the instructions of the fit test unit that you’re using.
Jamie: Great, thank you. Alright, we have a question here by Suzerie who says, “In Canada, it goes by definition of competent workers. Is fit tester competent to fit test? Competent means by training knowledge and experience, being able to work with no or minimum supervision. This means that fit tester was properly trained, has proper knowledge and experience to perform fit testing.” I guess, it’s more of a statement than a question. Can you guys talk a little bit about that, how it differs in Canada?
Jeff: Sure. I’ll give you a general comment. It sounds to me very similar to OSHA regulations. A lot of this is subject to interpretation. The problem that you run into is if you have a small employer with, maybe, 10 employees, who’s going to be the competent person? It’s a certain amount of judgment. You want to make sure that they’re trained properly. Most of these government agencies are more than happy to advise, you can call them up, and they’ll help you through it. But, certainly, you want to make sure that somebody is comfortable in what they’re doing and in running the program. The best way to do that is to take a course, use Moldex’ resources, take an online course or take a live course.
Jamie: Great. Thanks, guys. Alright, Pam asks, “If respirators are only recommended in some areas of our plant, would we need to have a fit testing done and a written program?”
Jeff: Oh, absolutely. If a respirator is required, you’ve got to have a full program. Now that doesn’t mean everybody in the plant, but it means the areas where you’re requiring respirator.
Jamie: Great. Alright, here, a couple of questions around the N95. Frank asks, “How often should you change a disposable N95 or an R95 mask?”
Craig: With the R95 class, which is resistant to oil, that should be discarded after one 8-hour work shift, or if it becomes damaged or torn throughout the day during use. With the N95 respirator, not resistant to oil category, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the length of time. For Moldex, we do say no longer than 30 days after the initial use. Then, of course, if it becomes soiled or damaged and a proper fit cannot be obtained, you want to discard the respirator and get a new one. With our P100 disposable respirators, P, by definition, is oil-proof. Moldex, again, on the side of caution, we recommend that our P100s be disposed of after one 8-hour shift if used for oil aerosols as well.
Jamie: Great. Thanks for that. A couple of questions that are Moldex-specific. Where am I able to purchase the Moldex fit testing kit? We’ll start with that one.
Craig: One place would be SafetyWear.
Craig: And if you’re unable to find the Moldex fit test kit on Zac’s website, safety-wear.com, Zac and I will work together today to make sure that it’s up there.
Jamie: Alright, thanks for that. Another question specifically for that. Are Moldex respirators competitively priced with MSA North, etc.?
Jeff: Very. We’re competitively priced. Some of our models appear to be more expensive, but of course, because of our unique design, they last longer. So if you do a side-by-side analysis, you’re generally going to find that our respirators, Moldex disposable respirators in particular, will last far longer than most of our competitors. With regard to elastomeric face pieces, yes, we’re very competitive.
Craig: Yes, and I’ll just add to that. We’re very happy to set up trials. Our Moldex representatives can set up a trial where we’re actually able to show, through greater durability and through the masks innovation such as our HandyStrap and SmartStrap where masks are not thrown away as often, we’re able to show cost savings over time. Get in touch with any Moldex representative or you can go to the website that’s on the screen right now, and set up a free trial of Moldex respirators and we’re happy to do that.
Jamie: Great. Thanks, guys. Alright, here’s a question from Greg. We recently acquired P100 filtering safety masks for our law enforcement officers when responding to an opioid fentanyl overdose. Do these officers require fit testing?
Jeff: Absolutely. I mean, Moldex would recommend it. You should certainly look at what CDC guidelines say. But, reality is you don’t know if a respirator’s working unless you fit test. So if you’re requiring law enforcement officers to wear it under certain situations, they should be fit tested.
Jamie: Great. Thank you, guys. Question here from John. Is there a guideline on the use of a respirator in specific areas where they are required? By this, I mean, if we have a specific production area or areas where respirators are required based on dust exposure testing, do I have to require someone to wear one if they just go into that room for, say, 5 mins to do a QC check on the equipment?
Jeff: You know, it depends upon the overall exposure, but I’m an industrial hygienist and I would say yes, they should wear a respirator, because they’re exceeding—they’re going to an area where the exposure limits is being exceeded, so yes.
Jamie: Great, thank you. Alright, here’s a question from Holly. Do employees have to complete a new health questionnaire form completely on a yearly basis or is it acceptable to just update the original form on an annual basis? Does the healthcare provider have to review this yearly or if only changes are made to the forms?
Jeff: Again, it’s up to the employer in conjunction with the healthcare provider on how they set up their evaluation.
Jamie: Great, thank you. Alright, Ernie is asking the question, “Does Moldex offer fit testing service on site?”
Craig: Yeah. We can come to—I mean, depending on the size of the company, but definitely go to the website that’s on the screen, moldex.com/webinar, and fill out that form, and a Moldex representative will get back to you. But yes, we do go on-site to do Train-the-Trainer. We can bring along the PortaCount or Quantifit system. Actually, we don’t have a Quantifit system, but we have the Quantifit cartridges. We can bring along the systems and the equipment needed to do the fit testing and to do the Train-the-Trainer on site.
Jamie: Great. Thanks, Craig. Let’s see here. A couple of Moldex website questions. I’m on the Moldex website, moldex.com, where is the Train-the-Trainer info? Where is the video? A couple of questions are asking about that video. Are there any good video resources for fit testing that you can recommend?
Craig: The Train-the-Trainer binder is being currently updated and is not currently on our website. Although, once again, if you go to this website, we can send you a copy of it once it’s complete. The videos, if you go to, on the website—our website will be changing soon to make it a little more user-friendly, but currently, if you go to the top menu, go to Tech Info, and then, after Tech Info, there’s a button that says “Fit Testing.” In Fit Testing, you’ll see a link to qualitative fit checks kit, the video is there. There’s also a button that, I think, says “Quantitative Fit Testing” or something like that, and the videos are there for quantitative.
Jamie: Great. Thanks, Craig. Question along those lines, “Can qualitative and quantitative testing be used interchangeably or are certain tests only for certain types of masks?”
Craig: They can be used interchangeably for everything except for if you plan to use a full face respirator in an environment that exceeds 10x the OSHA PEL. If your environment exceeds 10x the OSHA PEL, but is under 50x the OSHA PEL, then you can use a full face respirator but only if you quantitatively fit test it, so using either PortaCount or Quantifit, but not if you qualitatively fit test it, then it can only be used up to 10x the PEL.
Jamie: Great. Thanks, Craig. Let’s see here. This is a question from Scott. How do I determine if wearing a respirator is required or not?
James: Well, Scott, that will be determined on your exposure level to the contaminants. So once a proper hazard assessment has been done, your exposure to that particular contaminant, a gas, a vapor, particulate, etc., is at or above the PEL and/or maybe the TLB, you will need to implement a training program or a respiratory program, a fit testing program as well.
Jamie: Alright. Thanks, James. We have, it looks like, only five questions left, so if you do have a question, we have another 12 mins allocated, so get your question in if you’ve got one. The next question here is, “How long do I need to keep medical evaluations on file for?” That’s from Sara.
Jeff: Medical evaluations, I believe, are 30 years, but you can look that up in the OSHA standard as far as record keeping.
Jamie: Great. Thanks, Jeff. Here’s one. Where is Moldex located? That’s from Ernie.
Craig: Moldex is located in Culver City, California, which is a suburb of Los Angeles. All of our disposable respirators as well as almost all of our hearing protection products are made, actually, in Los Angeles. So about 90% to 95% of our products are made in the USA and made right here in the Los Angeles area either in Culver City or Gardena.
Jamie: Great. Thanks, Craig. Alright, Lewis has a question. How do you perform a fit test on an N95?
Craig: Well, that would be the—it depends on the type of fit test, qualitative or quantitative. An N95 would be the same as any other style of respirator, depending on the type that you choose. The videos that are on moldex.com can help you to do that.
Jamie: Great. Thank you, Craig. A question here from Randy. It just came in. Where can I find your fit test record form that was shown on one of the slides?
Craig: That form is in the Train-the-Trainer binder, which, again, we don’t currently have on the website, but I will include a link to the updated Train-the-Trainer binder in my follow up email, and it will be soon up on the website. In addition, the forms themselves are a part of the Moldex qualitative fit test kit.
Jamie: Awesome. Thanks for that, Craig. Alright, looks like this is our last question. So Jerry asks, “If we have a mask fitted with a beard, how do we qualify it?”
Craig: You don’t. It’s not allowed. If the mask is a loose-fitting respirator—I’m not sure of the question there. But if the employee has a full beard, then they’re disqualified from wearing any kind of a tight fitting respirator.
Jamie: Okay. I would follow up with Jerry, but I see that he’s left, so that’s alright.
Zac: He Didn’t like that answer 😊
Jamie: Last question here. Alright, so Cizzary I hope I’m saying that properly. Are Moldex products CSA-certified? Canadian Standard Association certified?
Jeff: CSA does not certify respiratory protection, but we do have CSA ratings on our hearing protection products.
Jamie: Perfect. Well, if there are no other questions, it looks like that is it. So really appreciate everybody today. Zac, Craig, any final words?
Zac: Yeah, this is Zac. I just want to thank everybody who logged on today, took time out of their schedules to join us. Hopefully, you learned something and it was a valuable tool for you. If there’s anything we can do, please email me direct. I’m happy to help. I want to thank, again, all that participated, especially Safeopedia and Moldex. You guys did a great job, and thanks for letting us be a part of it.
Craig: This is Craig. I’d also like to thank everybody who logged on and took the time to watch this webinar. I’d like to thank Zac from SafetyWear, and Jamie, and all the other people at Safeopedia, and then, of course, Jeff and James from our Technical Services department here at Moldex. So thank you, everybody.
Jamie: Great. Thank you both. Thanks to Zac. Really appreciate you making this webinar possible. To Craig, great job presenting. It was a giant audience, if you couldn’t see that, so that was great. Thanks to Jeff and James, really appreciate you jumping on and answering all the questions. But, most importantly, the audience. Without you guys, this webinar wouldn’t be possible. We really appreciate you taking your time. We realize that you have important things to do, so we’re very grateful that you took some time to sit with us today during the webinar.
With that, we will conclude the webinar. Again, definitely reach out to us if you have any questions. With that, we really want to thank everybody. Take care and stay safe.