Sydney is the perfect embodiment of the sun, sea, and waves. The city is located on the East Coast of the Australian continent, with approximately 5.4 million people. Sydney has always been a key city in the Asia-Pacific region because of its strong economic performance.
Like all developed cities in the world, Sydney also has some of the most hazardous jobs that expose its population to unhealthy contaminants, including chemicals, fumes, clouds of dust, and various infectious substances.
If you are working in such industries, safety and protection are big business. There are several service providers offering respirator fitness testing in Sydney, and it is an agile process for knowing if a work-required mask or respirator meets the Australian safety standards.
The Purpose of Having a Respirator Testing
Whether you are involved in the construction, mining, or chemical manufacturing business, worker safety is a warranted right. The Safe Work Australia organisation is responsible for overseeing worker safety in every state and requires workers to don the right safety equipment for their jobs.
Respirators are commonly worn in work environments where exposure to hazardous particles is high. It prevents contaminants from leaking or entering the respiratory system and prevents work-related illnesses.
However, there are a variety of respirators in the market with different makes and models. Such protective equipment is worn in several ways. Choosing the right one often becomes a problem for most industries. The purpose of having respirator fitness testing in Sydney for the workers in the city is to ensure that the protective equipment provides the highest levels of protection.
Fitness Testing Analyses Key Components of a Respirator
Before your workers wear a respirator, it needs thorough testing for integrity and serviceability. Various components need to be inspected, including the seal, compatibility, and unit stability.
The seal is one of the primary components being checked as it forms the barrier against harmful substances. It should be fit and needs to work well with other PPEs or gears. A respirator fitness testing will focus not only on the respirator itself but also on critical analysis of other protective equipment used.
It includes safety glasses, a hard hat, face shields and many others. This protective equipment often competes for space, and it’s always essential that a worker has the right fit so as not to hamper movement.
Methods Employed during a Respirator Fitness Testing
There are two techniques used during respirator fit testing. These procedures meet the safety guidelines employed by the Australian and New Zealand Standards. The AS/NZS 1715:2009 indicates all the rules and guidelines for equipment selection, use, and maintenance.
- Quantitative Testing
This process uses a respirator fit tester which eliminates all possible guesswork in fit testing. It includes measuring leakage around seals which is represented by a numerical value. Quantitative testing has been considered the gold standard for respirator fit testing.
- Qualitative Testing
Although less commonly used, qualitative testing is often done for workers who use disposable masks, half-face respirators, and workers who cover their facial orifices at work. It uses the sense of smell and taste for possible leakage and is often a subjective pass or fail.
Respirators are vital safety equipment to any industry. It is also crucial to know the distinctions between fit checking or fit testing. Fit checking is not as comprehensive as fit testing and should not be done in a high-exposure workplace setting.