Respiratory Fit Testing

Respiratory Fit Testing

Respirator Fit Testing

It is a requirement under AS/NZS 1715:2009 “Use and maintenance of respiratory protective devices” that all wearers of face masks undergo annual fit testing. The purpose of the test is to verify that each wearer has a mask that provides an effective seal against contaminants in the atmosphere.

WOHC HEALTH LTD offers both Qualitative and Quantitative Testing. The Qualitative test better measures a mask’s effectiveness under actual working conditions.

Qualitative Testing

This type of testing has largely fallen out of favour. It relies on a visual assessment of the mask fitted to a worker, and an assessment of whether they can taste and/or smell a non-toxic solution being administered under a hood.

Quantitative Testing

A quantitative test employs the use of a ‘PortaCount’ device. This allows the effectiveness of the mask’s seal to be measured while the wearer simultaneously performs a series of movements while breathing and talking – designed to simulate actual working conditions. The PortaCount determines whether an adequate face seal is achieved by measuring the amount of leakage into the mask. The device provides a precise numerical measure and documentation which satisfies the record keeping requirements of the standard. WOHC HEALTH LTD recommends this test, which takes approximately 20-30 minutes per wearer to perform.

Please note:
For fit-testing to be undertaken, employees must be clean shaven (wet or electric razor) – within the last 8 hours – and should not have eaten, drunk, smoked, vaped or chewed gum in the 30 mins prior to testing


Contact Cathy McBride, Occupational Fit Technican on  or 027 201 5829 for more information