The next wave of COVID-19 is here and it remains important you and your colleagues have been fit tested for the correct respirator.
Fit testing FAQ
What is fit testing?
A method for checking that a N95/P2 respirator matches your facial features and seals adequately to your face by using a machine to detect leakage.
What is fit checking?
A process you undertake every time you wear a respirator to ensure that it’s been donned correctly and is sealing.
Why is fit testing important?
Different respirators work for different people, so you need the correct one to provide you with protection from airborne contaminants (such as COVID-19 or influenza).
When should I be fit tested?
Before you use one! If you are already using them, as soon as possible! At least every 12 months. If you use a different type of respirator If there are significant changes to your face shape.
I’ve never been fit tested – what should I do?
- If there are others who have been fit tested, they should work in areas where there are airborne contaminants until you have been tested*.
- Advise your immediate manager that you haven’t been tested and ask for it to be arranged for you. Keep a record of when you requested to be checked.If fit testing is not arranged for you, contact ANMF.
If no one’s been fit tested, please ensure you undertake a fit check every time you don your respirator. This will provide some level of protection, but not the same as a fit test.
I’ve been fit tested but they don’t have the respirator that I tested for – what should I do?
- If there are others who have been fit tested, and have the mask they were fit tested for, they should work in areas where there are airborne contaminants until you have an appropriate respirator*.
- Raise it with your immediate manager and keep a record of your request.
- If you are not provided with your respirator, or if your respirator will not be available in the near future, contact ANMF.
*speak to your elected HSR.
Your employer must consult
Consultation between your employer and HSRs/staff is as important as ever during the COVID-19 pandemic.
HSRs and staff need to be consulted when employers make workplace changes that affect health and safety, such as changes to PPE requirements, testing requirements for staff or patients, or workplace amenities (e.g. break rooms).
If you’re concerned your employer is not doing enough to prevent and manage the risk of exposure to COVID-19, talk to your HSR (if you have one). If you have raised this with your employer, and have not had a satisfactory response, contact ANMF.