Here at OHD, we strive to provide exceptional customer service for you and your employees. Whether it be fit testing, noise monitoring programs or any of our other safety products, we have deemed it our goal to inform, guide and protect you all along the way.
It is respirator fit-testing season. You have only a few days to test several hundred employees and their equipment. You are pulling essential personnel out of the field and inefficiencies in your testing process are expensive. And, if we’re honest, no one is all that happy about having to be there. But respirator testing is a mandatory investment of time and resources, essential to the safety of your employees. You want the maximum return on your investment, in terms of process efficiency, improved results and lower costs. After years of helping clients conduct thousands of respirator fit tests, two factors determine the success of fit-testing programs...
Click Here to download the complete ROI analysis whitepaper.
OHD is committed to the research and future development of Respiratory Protection. That is why we have recently partnered with the Marshall University and their Safety Department.
OHD is committed to the research and future development of Respiratory Protection. That is why we have recently partnered with the University of Minnesota and their Environmental Health and Safety Department.
OHD is committed to the research and future development of Respiratory Protection. That is why we have recently partnered with the University of West Virginia and their Department of Industrial and Management Systems.
What is the relationship between OSHA permissible exposure limits/maximum use concentrations and assigned protection factors?
Have you been waiting for the right time to upgrade your fit tester from the TSI PortaCount® to the revolutionary OHD Quantifit®? Aren't you tired of the inconvenience of sometimes having to ensure or generate particles in a closed room with fog machines, candles, salt fog or other means if you need to conduct a fit test? NOW is the perfect time to convert to the OHD Quantifit® to eliminate the hassle with particles. Move to a system which directly measures respirator leak by taking advantage of OHD's $1,500 Trade-In Offer!
The OHD Quantifit: ohdusa.com/products/quantifit
The Basics of Fit Testing
There is a common question I receive from many companies which is not based around technological advantages, accuracy, or even OSHA standards on how to perform mask fit testing. This question comes in the form of, “Do I really have to shave to wear a mask?” “Do I have to make my employees shave to do fit testing?” Many times it is more of a statement than question, “My employees aren’t going to be happy that they have to shave during No-Shave November!” There is even debate in the respiratory community--or more accurately confusion--on what OSHA actually states about shaving and facial hair with mask programs.
First, OSHA doesn’t actually say anything about shaving or when you have to shave. But before you allow the beards to begin growing, OSHA does have a firm stance on the matter of facial hair and mask seals. OSHA code 1910.134(g)(1) is specific to facepiece seal protection and states:
The employer shall not permit respirators with tight-fitting facepieces to be worn by employees who have:
Facial hair that comes between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face or that interferes with valve function; or
Any condition that interferes with the face-to-facepiece seal or valve function.
This is an unambiguous statement and firm regulation that mandates that the face-to-facepiece seal must be free of facial hair. According to OSHA, facial hair cannot come between the seal of the face and the mask. Employers need to ensure that they have a firm policy in place to abide by this OSHA requirement to be in compliance. This does not mean that employees cannot have mustaches or other facial hair (unless this is the policy of the company for those who wear respirators). The employee simply must not have facial hair that interferes with the seal or the valve function.
Second, it is important to understand and explain to beard-loving employees why this is an important OSHA regulation. The face-to-facepiece seal is an extremely important part of the protection a mask provides. A safety professional or Industrial Hygienist can properly identify respiratory hazards, properly purchase PPE that will protect against the hazard, and create a strong Respiratory Protection Program for the employees; but if the mask is not properly worn, these programs are compromised. Companies, Safety Professionals, and most importantly the Employee, are all at risk when the programs aren’t completely followed. Many years of fit testing with accurate fit test methods has proven that facial hair allows leak to enter the mask through the face-to-facepiece seal.
Relax this November! Enjoy growing some facial hair, as long as it doesn’t compromise the seal of your mask and your safety!