Personal Fit Testing and Functional Capacity Assessments (FCEs) are crucial and often overlooked elements of determining employee fitness.
Personal Fit Testing for Hearing Protection Devices
If hearing loss prevention efforts are to be successful, it is important to know that hearing protectors are reducing noise to safe levels. While a properly administered Hearing Protector Fitting helps to ensure that employees are achieving the best possible fit from an appropriate hearing protection device (HPD), the fit check system takes this effort even further.
Traditionally, industry has had no choice but to look to the often criticized Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) as an estimate of the attenuation provided by hearing protectors. Both industry and hearing conservation professionals have long desired a means to reliably predict individual, real-world noise reduction values. With the modern technology we can now personally check the fit of an individual’s HPD and measure their personal attenuation rating.
Our state of the art system makes it easy to get an accurate, real-world picture of your employees’ hearing protection. Find out whether your employees are receiving optimal protection, require additional training on how to fit their ear plugs, or need to try a different model.
Our reporting captures individual PAR data for each ear, along with Safe Exposure Level and Protected Exposure Level data.
- Our Fit Testing system will measure the Personal Attenuation Rating (PAR) for each employee. PAR can be subtracted directly from noise exposure level to determine an employee’s protected exposure level.
- Utilizes custom-designed hardware and special headphones
- Works with any ear plug, corded or uncorded, from any manufacturer
- Fulfils regulatory requirements to ensure proper initial fitting of hearing protection
- Documents training and proper fit for new or existing employees
- Provides an ideal opportunity for one-on-one education
- By verifying ear plug effectiveness and providing an ideal opportunity for education, our fit testing system becomes an integral part of a successful Hearing Conservation Program.
- Employees are tested both before and after putting on their hearing protection.
- Fitting, test and consultation process takes about 12 -15 minutes per employee
Benefits of Fit Testing for HPD
- Contributes to legal defense through documentation of effective fit and employer compliance
- Shifts responsibility for proper HPD wearing to the employee
- Increases employee competence resulting in better protection and improved safety
- Provides a personalized element to your Hearing Conservation Program
Personal Fit Testing for Respiratory Protection Devices
An employee required to use a negative or positive pressure tight-fitting respirator must undergo a fit test with the same make, model, style and size of respirator, according to OSHA regulations. The fit test must be performed:
- Before initial use
- Whenever a different style, size, model or make is used
- At least annually thereafter
- If changes in an employee’s physical condition affects the fit (dental changes, cosmetic surgery, obvious change in body weight)
A fit test uses qualitative or quantitative protocol to evaluate a respirator’s fit on an individual. A quantitative fit test (QNFT) assesses respirator fit by numerically measuring leakage into the respirator.
Our respirator fit testing protocol uses these eight 60-second exercises:
- Normal breathing
- Deep breathing
- Turning head side to side
- Lifting head up and down
- Talking out loud
- Grimacing (15 seconds)
- Bending and touching toes (or jogging in place)
- Normal breathing
Not only does OSHA require fit testing, but it is a crucial step in the verification of respirator selection and proper respirator usage. Quantitative fit testing is commonly used in applications were higher fit factors are required.