FIT TESTING FAQ
SCBA face piece fit testing is required by NFPA, OSHA and other safety standards to ensure an adequate mask seal and acceptable Fit Factor. To help you better understand these requirements and to help ensure compliance and the safety of your personnel the following questions and answers are presented:
Q. What are the reasons for fit testing?
A. The two primary reasons for fit testing SCBA users are; 1) training verification, and 2) proper sizing of the face piece.
Q. Can either Quantitative Fit Testing (QNFT) or Qualitative Fit Testing (QLFT) be used for positive pressure fire fighting SCBA?
A. No, As of the NFPA 1500 - 2007 was published it is mandatory to use only the QUANTITATIVE testing for Firefighters. OSHA/MiOSHA says, if the required fit factor is greater then 100 for any tight fitting full or half-face mask, a Quantitative fit test should be preformed. Firefighters MUST be tested at a minimum of 500. Fit Testing Services, Inc. only does Quantitative testing due to it's greater reliability. Both OSHA , MiOSHA and NFPA now require QNFT.
Q. What frequency is required for fit testing?
A. Fit testing is required initially, prior to the SCBA being used in the immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) environment and once annually thereafter. Fit Testing Services, Inc. can setup a testing schedule to ensure compliance.
Q. Does a "user seal check" qualify as a fit test?
A. No, a user seal check is a procedure the employee performs each time they don the SCBA and is done to ensure the mask is properly seated to the user's face. It is not a substitute for a fit test.
Q. When did OSHA and IDOL require fit testing?
A. The Respiratory Protection Standard OSHA 29 CFR Part 1910.134 published on 1/8/98 revised previous fit test requirements and also specifically addressed structural fire fighting procedures (2-In / 2-Out). The compliance date was January 1999. State of Michigan also requires Fit Testing in MiOSHA 451.
Q. Which NFPA standards require fit testing and what is the frequency?
A. NFPA 1500 (Safety & Health Program) & NFPA 1404 (Breathing Apparatus Program). The frequency requirements are the same as OSHA and IDOL.
Q. What records must be maintained?
A. Fit test records must be maintained until the next fit test. Each test record must contain the firefighter ID, type of fit test, date last tested, results of the test, and the make, model and size of the mask tested. Fit Testing Services, Inc. will provide you with this documentation at the time of testing. We will also maintain a copy in our records.
Q. Who can perform QNFT or QLFT for my department?
A. Contact Fit Testing Services, Inc for your respiratory protection testing requirements including purchase of replacement equipment connected with SCBA's.
Q. What can Fit Testing Services, Inc. do that others can't or won't?
A. Fit Testing Services, Inc. will test when and where you need it. When a new employee is hired and will be using SCBA they must be fit tested before they start the job. For our customers, we will test that one employee for no additional charges, other then the normal testing cost, in Kent, Ottawa, Ionia, Allegan, Counties. Outside that area there will be a mileage charge added to the cost of testing at the rate of $0.15 per mile. No mileage charge for five (5) or more tests at the same time and location. Because we understand that most departments have difficulty getting all their employees in the same location at the same time, we will make two (2) trips to your location at no additional charge. Any additional trips in excess of two (2) there will be an additional charge for mileage only.