Mandatory FIT TEST – regulatory references
Law 215/2021 modified the art. 79 of Legislative Decree 81/08 by introducing paragraph 2-bis which specifies: “Until the adoption of the decree referred to in paragraph 2, the provisions referred to in the decree of the Minister of Labor and Social Security dated 2 May 2001 remain unchanged, published in the Official Gazette no. 126 of 1 June 2001, updated with the most recent editions of the UNI standards”.
In essence, the new paragraph 2-bis introduces the obligation for the employer, as regards the choice, use and maintenance of PPE, to also refer to the provisions of the most recent UNI technical standards.
Concerning respiratory protective devices (APVR), the Technical Standard to refer to is UNI 11719:2018 which explores, details and outlines the processes inherent in the choice, use and maintenance of these devices, adopting criteria updated and in line with the most recent technical and management developments.
Focus of the standard is the need to establish a respiratory protection program, planned and managed by a person with specific skills in PPE, designated by the employer, and who has knowledge of the specific dangers of the workplace.
The UNI 11719:2018 standard provides that, once the APVR device has been chosen, a test of the adaptability of the face seal on the operator (Fit Test) must be carried out.
This point represents an innovation and introduces the verification of the adherence of the APVR on the face of the individual worker, the importance of which has long been underlined in scientific circles and is already required by law in some countries.
Evaluating the correct fit of the APVR to the worker’s face ensures that the model and size chosen fit the face perfectly. In fact, an imperfect adherence of an APVR to the wearer’s face can compromise its protection, allowing the contaminants present in the environment to pass through.
There are several factors that can compromise the seal of the APVR on the individual worker’s face. The fit test is a procedure that allows to check its tightness taking into account all possible individual variables (shape and size of the face, presence of beard or mustache, piercings, glasses, scars, way of wearing and holding the device, etc).
The standard proposes various methods for carrying out the fit test: in general, these can be divided into qualitative or quantitative fit tests.
Whatever the method of execution, the fit test must be concluded with the preparation of a test report which must identify the name of the worker and the type of APVR tested (manufacturer, model and size, conditions), the technical specifications of the test performed and the result.
The Fit Test is a mandatory test, and by law it must be repeated in the company every three years.
Fit Tester MT-05U
DPI offers sales and assistance on the FIT TESTER MT-05U, a device that uses the quantitative method of particle counting (CNC), the most effective and safest among those on the market, to verify tight adherence to the face of all devices.
The test can be done on any respirators, from filtering face masks (FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3) to half or full face masks (both for filtering and self-contained breathing devices).
During use, the machine measures the tightness on the face in real time, given by the ratio between the external ambient air concentration and that one measured inside the device. This takes place while the wearer performs a series of breathing, movement and conversation exercises, according to the ISO16975-3 protocol, implemented in Italy by the UNI11719 Technical Standard. The exercises are 7 and have a duration of 60 seconds each, with the purpose of simulating the actions performed by the operator in the operational context of work. The instrument has a very intuitive display that guides the user in performing these exercises. Once the fit test has been completed, a Fit Factor is generated, an endurance factor for each individual exercise, which must be equal to or greater than the one recommended by current legislation.
DPI is at the customer’s side, in terms of assistance and training, from the installation of the software to the execution the actual fit test.
The test will be accurate, simple and fast, thanks to a very intuitive display, which guides the user during the execution of the Fit Test, with measurable, repeatable, accurate and real-time results.
The “Training” mode allows you to quickly find the right respirator and understand how to wear it for optimal protection.