How to Fit Test an N95 Mask For Workplace Use - Worksite Medical

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With the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S, every workplace must adapt to keep workers healthy and safe.

For many businesses, this means temporarily shutting the doors or having employees work from home. For companies that continue with on-site work, proactive measures need to be taken to reduce the spread of the virus.

Implementing COVID-19 symptom screening is an effective way to stay one step ahead.

At Worksite Medical, our symptom screening includes risk-factor questions and temperature screening conducted by our highly trained medical staff. We use mobile medical units to come directly to you, so you don’t have to send employees to local clinics or hospitals where people may have the virus.

 

Related: Expired N95 & Alternative Mast Use During COVID-19 Shortage

 

With symptom screening, you can quickly identify which workers may be infected with or carry the virus.

 

Symptom Screening Includes Respirator Fit Test

 

We also conduct OSHA-required respirator fit testing for worksites issuing N95 respirators as a means to protect workers. If your worksite is new to respirator use, fit testing is important to ensure that facepieces fit tightly and work properly.

 

VIDEO: How to Wear N95 Respirators

 

There are two types of tests:

1) Qualitative Fit Test – a non-numeric pass/fail test that relies on the employee’s sense of taste or smell, or his/her reaction to a substance (test agent) in order to detect leakage into the respirator facepiece.

2) Quantitative Fit Test – utilizes a machine to measure the amount of leakage into the facepiece, instead of relying on senses.

Furthermore, in order for you to require respirator use on your job site, OSHA requires that your employees receive medical clearance to do so. For some, wearing a respirator impairs breathing, especially for older employees or those with asthma. It also affects vision and triggers panic attacks.

Thus, employees must be evaluated before they are fit tested, according to OSHA standard 1910.134(e)(1). That section states that “the employer shall provide a medical evaluation to determine the employee’s ability to use a respirator, before the employee is fit tested or required to use a respirator in the workplace.”

Even if the respirator is only used for a short period of time, it may trigger breathing difficulties and claustrophobia.

Evaluating and fitting employers out of order can lead to steep OSHA fines.

 

Adjusted Rates For Health & Safety Penalties

 

As of Jan. 15, OSHA raised its health & safety penalties by about 1.8%.

This rate adjusts for inflation, as required by the Inflation Adjustment Act.

Congress enacted the Inflation Adjustment Act on Nov. 2, 2015 to improve the effectiveness and deterrent effect of civil monetary penalties. The labor department issued similar annual inflation rate adjustments in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Rate increases for health & safety penalties include:

  • For a willful violation, in which an employer knowingly failed to comply with an OSHA standard or demonstrated a plain indifference for employee safety, the minimum penalty increases from $9,472 to $9,639 and the maximum penalty increases from $132,598 to $134,937;
  • For each repeated violation for an identical or substantially similar violation previously cited by the agency, the penalty ceiling rises from $132,598 to $134,937;
  • For each serious violation for workplace hazards that could cause an accident or illness that would most likely result in death or serious physical harm, the maximum penalty increases from $13,260 to $13,494;
  • For each other-than-serious violation, the maximum penalty increases from $13,260 to $13,494;
  • For each failure to correct violation, the maximum penalty increases from $13,260 to $13,494; and
  • For each posting requirement violation, the maximum penalty increases from $13,260 to $13,494.

 

Learn more about the Respiratory Standard: 

 

For the most recent COVID-19 information pertaining to workplace health & safety, visit our coronavirus resources page.

Get instant respirator questionnaire medical clearances for just $25 each via our all-new online portal. 

 

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About Worksite Medical

In most cases, OSHA requires medical surveillance testing, and at no cost to employees.

Worksite Medical makes that program easier with mobile medical testing.

We conduct on-site respirator fit tests, as well as pulmonary function test and heavy metal lab work, right on your job site. We also keep accurate, easy-to-access medical records for your convenience. You’ll keep your employees at work, and stay ahead of OSHA inspections.

With Worksite Medical, a mobile medical testing unit — we can bring all the resources of a lab to you. Our certified lab technicians can perform both qualitative and quantitative respirator tests to ensure a perfect fit.

Protect your team and your workplace now with Worksite Medical. Not sure what you need? Try our medical testing wizard here.

Give us a call at 1-844-622-8633, or complete the form below to schedule an on-site visit or to get your free quote!

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