The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health prepared an information sheet to address commonly asked questions about respiratory protection.
Over 3 million U.S. employees in about 1.3 million workplaces are required to wear respiratory protection under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard (29 CFR 1910.134). The standard requires an annual fit test to confirm the fit of any respirator that forms a tight seal on the wearer’s face before it is used in the workplace.
Once a fit test has been done to determine the best respirator model and size for a particular user, a user seal check should be done every time the respirator is to be worn to ensure an adequate seal is achieved.
The information sheet describes what is a user seal check (sometimes called a fit check). It tells how to do this check while wearing a filtering face piece respirator.
Descriptions are given on how to do a positive or negative pressure user seal check. Also, readers are told that a user seal check cannot be considered a substitute for a fit testing.