Mask Fit Testing FAQ's
Why is Mask Fit Testing and Training required?
Simply put Mask Fit Testing and Training is required by both the employers you work with and the Ontario laws that require employers and employees to understand the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE). The most common industry where N95 respirators are used is the healthcare industry, where people are often exposed to outbreaks of various kinds. In these environments, it is critical that anyone who is working there know what size respirator they are Fit Tested for and more importantly how to put on (Donn), take off (Doff) and create a "Facial Seal" with the respirators. Employers will have several types and sizes of respirators on hand and NOT knowing which respirator is best for you can lead to serious health risks.
Other industries where respirator use is required is the construction, manufacturing and chemical based businesses. In these work environments you are generally seeking protection from dust, dirt, chemicals and solvents and other hazardous airborne contaminants. Without the proper training and testing on respirator use, care and selection, you could have serious health risks.
We are experienced, qualified and provide N95 Mask Fit Testing year round through on-site (we can come to your business) or through our offsite (you can book online at our Toronto office 5 days a week). Our services are utilized by major employers, healthcare operators and schools throughout Ontario. Best of all, we are affordable and you will leave with a level of comfort probably never experienced wearing a respirator.
Why should I choose Synergy for N95 Respirator Mask Fit Testing?
Simply put we are experienced, qualified and provide N95 Mask Fit Testing year round through on-site (we can come to your business) or through our offsite (you can book online at our Toronto office 5 days a week). Our services are utilized by major employers, healthcare operators and schools throughout Ontario. Best of all, we are affordable and you will leave with a level of comfort probably never experienced wearing a respirator.
I need Mask Fit Testing, where do I go?
Booking your Mask Fit Testing or Respirator Fit Testing and training is very easy with Synergy! Simply book your individual training online (CLICK HERE) or have your organization complete a short online form (CLICK HERE) and we can arrange the training at your site generally within 2-3 business days of a request!
Why should I get fit tested?
Although Mask Fit Testing is your own personal choice, employers highly recommend being fit tested at least every 2 years. The proper use of respirators can greatly reduce your exposure to airborne pathogens and your chances of becoming sick. Furthermore, most employers will not allow you to work or volunteer at a placement or employment site without proper certification for respirator fit testing.
What is an N95 Respirator?
This is a device that has met legislative requirements and standards to protect the wearer from specific hazards (airborne) in the workplace. It is approved by NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, US). The "N" stands for not resistant to oil and the "95" stands for the filters efficiency when correctly worn. These types of respirators are disposable and come in various sizes and shapes.
What is Qualitative N95 Mask Fit Testing?
This is the most common form of Mask Fit Testing for healthcare related fields. Synergy conducts over 15, 000 fit tests a year in Canada. It is a test that measures your ability to wear an N95 Respirator. N95 Respirators come in all different sizes and shapes, Synergy's Mask Fit Testing program helps determine the best mask for your face. We also provide detailed education and instruction along with a laminated certificate card for your records upon successful completion.
What is Quantitative Mask Fit Testing?
This method of Respiratory Fit Testing utilizes a specialized machine that accurately measures the number of particulates in the ambient air and then measures the concentration of those particles inside the wearers respirator. It is a highly accurate and efficient method of fit testing and can only be conducted by trained technicians.
Synergy uses specialized TSI PortaCount Pro 8038 machines for its Quantitative Respiratory Fit Testing program, which is a CSA approved apparatus. Our program is available throughout Ontario and British Columbia and can be accommodated across Canada. The PortaCount Pro 8038 effectively fit tests:
- Half Face Respirators
- Full Face Respirators
- Disposable N95 Respirators
I have a beard, can I participate in Mask Fit Testing?
Unfortunately according to the CSA Standard Z94. 4-11, men must be clean shaven to participate in mask fit testing. Please see the links below for acceptable and unacceptable facial hair.
How to prepare for your MASK FIT TEST:
There are 3 simple things we require:
1. Complete and bring your HEALTH ASSESSMENT FORM on the day of your test
2. Do not EAT, DRINK or SMOKE 20 minutes prior to your Mask Fit Test
3. MEN - MUST BE CLEAN SHAVEN (Acceptable Facial Hair, Unacceptable Facial Hair)
4. WOMEN - DO NOT WEAR MAKEUP
5. Pregnancy: Please consult with your health care practitioner prior to conducting Mask Fit Testing
6. ARRIVE ON TIME
7. Synergy conducts Group Sessions, you MUST ARRIVE ON TIME.
What are the Canadian government regulations on Mask Fit Testing (Respirator Protection)?
There are several regulations that govern the use of respirators. The Ontario Ministry of Labour (CLICK HERE) has explanations surrounding respirators, their use and requirements.
I have lost my card, how do I get a new one?
Synergy makes ordering replacement cards simple, follow the link below and open a help desk ticket and we will respond to your inquiry within 2 business days.
Contact our HELP DESK CLICK HERE
What happens if someone has a beard?
IF they cannot shave, Synergy will NOT perform a mask fit test. This is outlined in the CSA Standard Z94. 4-11 and through the 3M Qualitative Fit Test procedures. Please click here for ACCEPTABLE FACIAL HAIR and UNACCEPTABLE FACIAL HAIR.
What happens if I can't do Qualitative Mask Fit Testing?
There are some instances where Qualitative Respirator Mask Fit Testing cannot be conducted. In this case you may consider a Quantitative Mask Fit Test. At this time we do not offer quantitative fit testing.
What happens if I miss my Mask Fit Testing Appointment?
Synergy makes all attempts to accomodate people for their mask fit testing requirements. We allow a 24 hour cancellation and/or rescheduling period for your appointment. By not showing up for your appointment, you are reducing someone elses chance to get fit tested on that particular date. If you miss your mask fit testing appointment you will be charged a $10.00 late fee on top of the regular fit testing fee. This will be payable at the time of your appointment.
When is wearing an N95 Respirator necessary?
You must wear an N95 respirator in situations where airborne transmission of infectious agents/particles is possible. Each workplace will establish when use of N95 respirators is required. Refer to your workplaces policies for more details.
Why do I have to wear a Half-Face or Full-Face respirator?
Your employer has determined as part of their Health and Safety assessments that you must wear a Respirator. Your employer has suggested either a Half-Face or Full-Face respirator based on the types of contaminents or pathogens and specific concentrations that you might be exposed to and made a decision on the type of respirators to be worn. Employees are required to be fit tested as per Occupational Health and Safety laws in your province.
Are their any side effects of the solution used in Qualitative Fit Testing?
No, the solutions are made by 3M and are totally safe to ingest. We currently fit test with Bitrex solution. You can find the MSDS on the product by clicking here (bitrex).
What happens if where I am working they don’t have the same masks or respirators available?
We are teaching you the correct techniques to establishing the best possible Facial Seal with a particular respirator mask. For you to be safe, you should speak with your employer to ensure they carry the respirator you have been fit tested for.
How long can you wear a N95 disposable mask for?
It is recommended that respirators be changed if they become wet, interfere with breathing, come in contact with respiratory droplets are damaged or visibly soiled. Your employer may have guidelines suggesting usage times and change schedules.
Can I participate in a Mask Fit Test if I am pregnant or think I may be pregnant?
We recommend you seek the approval of your doctor prior to proceeding.
What types of situations would require a N95 Respirator to be worn?
Generally situations where there is severe respiratory outbreak and or airborne pathogens. These situations include SARS, TB, Chicken Pox, H1N1, EV-D68, Measles, Handa Virus, Anthrax and possibly MERS outbreaks to name a few. Other applications are for environments where there is dust, fumes or other airborne particulates that can interfere with your respiratory system.
How do I dispose of my N95 respirator?
- Use Hand Hygiene prior to handling the respirator
- Carefully remove the straps of the respirator without touching the front
- Use Hand Hygiene after handling the respirator
How long is my card/certificate from Synergy valid for?
In Ontario our certificate is valid for 2 years unless you have major changes in the size or shape of your face. Your employer or school may require fit testing more frequently.
What if my employer wants other verification of my Mask Fit Testing?
What if I am not sure if my medical condition is unstable?
Please consult with your doctor to see if this test is suitable for you to conduct.
What happens if I can’t taste the solution during Qualititative Fit Testing?
We recommend you conduct a Quantitative Respirator Mask Fit Test. At this time we do not offer quantitative fit testing services.
Are there other types of respirators out there?
Yes, there are hundreds of types of respirators, each one is specifically designed for the particular work environment and risks associated with being in them. Your employer should set the minimum requirements for the type of respirator you need. Our program only fit tests with 3M N95 respirators.
Do you mask fit test for other types of respirators?
Yes, we conduct qualitative mask fit testing for disposal and reusable half-face or full face respirators. If you require fit testing for anything other than N95 Respirators, you must bring your own respirator and filter cartridges at the time of your appointment. EMAIL for more information on how to schedule an appointment.
I am allergic to Latex, can I proceed with the fit test?
We can provide you with our respirators MSDS and you can refer to any and all components of the respirators we use.
Why is Synergy's Respirator Fit Testing so affordable?
We have Mask Fit Tested over 100,000 people - our pricing is simple and provides the most efficient and convenient way to get Mask Fit Tested in Ontario. We pass our volume discount directly to our to our customers.
How qualified are your instructors?
Synergy's Respirator Fit Testers undergo a vigorous training program followed by supervision by an experienced tester. Our program is delivered with consistency, providing our customers with confidence that they will receive the very best in education and respiratory training. Synergy provides over 15000 Mask Fit Tests a year in Ontario.