Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Respirator Fit Testing Respirator Clearance Pulmonary Function Test (Spirometry)

Saturday, August 17th, 2019
Respirator Fit Testing Respirator Clearance Pulmonary Function Test (Spirometry)

Respirator Medical Clearance Respir…


KSA Occupational Services can help your organization implement a respiratory protection program and take care of your OSHA HEARING CONSERVATION PROGRAM.

KSA offers a full range of respiratory fit testing to help your organization remain compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) regulations. KSA delivers comprehensive qualitative fit testing and quantitative fit testing to your employees at the job site. Reducing costs and loss of work time using offsite exams.

KSA Respiratory fit testing guarantees the functionality of your respiratory equipment.

Ensuring the mask fit test is perfect for a broad range of devices, including:

  • Dust masks
  • Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)
  • Half-face masks
  • Full-face masks
  • Supplied air respirators

Employees working a position that is regulated by OSHA Respirator Standard CFR 1910.134 are required to have a respirator fit testing done at least once a year. The test is always done before working with a new mask or after changes in the employee’s facial characteristics. Annual or more frequent tests ensure a continuous protection against mask wear and tear and facial changes.

Qualitative Respirator Fit Test

For job positions where a mask is required, KSA Occupational Services specializes in the affordable and effective testing procedure called Qualitative testing. In this test, the employee wears the facemask along with a hood over their head. The tester then applies a series of test agents and gauges the employee’s ability to detect the smells and tastes. Individuals who are able to detect these agents must have their mask adjusted or changed for proper fitting.

The test agents generally used include:

Saccharin – a sweet tasting solid aerosol.

  • Isoamyl acetate – a liquid that produces a sweet smelling vapor similar to bananas.
  • BitrexTM – a bitter tasting solid aerosol.
  • Irritant smoke – a solid aerosol made of stannic oxychloride that produces hydrochloric acid when it comes in contact with water vapor.

Pulmonary Function Test

Many times a respirator fit test is done along with a Pulmonary Function Test (PFT), also known as a Spirometry. Whereas the respirator fit testing ensures the mask worn is the right fit and model for the employee, the pulmonary function test actually gauges the employee’s lung health. Most often, employers use this test to develop a baseline to compare future against future tests.

Having this established baseline is a good protection when evaluating the cause of worker’s compensation claims, as well as making sure employees have the adequate protection necessary to perform their job.

As with the qualitative respirator fit testing, KSA also offers pulmonary function tests (spirometry) in office or at your business for your convenience to save you time and money.

Respiratory Hazards

Employers must provide respirator masks and fit testing to employees when any of the following hazards are present in the work environment:

  • Dust and Fibers: Solid particles formed from mechanical process. Ex: lead, asbestos
  • Fumes: Solid particles that vaporizes and condenses in cool air. Ex: welding fumes
  • Mists: Liquid droplets suspended in air from spraying operations. Ex: paint spray mist
  • Gases: Individual molecules in the air at room temperature. Ex: carbon monoxide
  • Vapors: Gaseous substances normally liquid or solid in room temperature. Ex: solvents
  • Biological Hazards: Living organisms that can cause infections. Ex: viruses, animal waste

Different Assigned Protection Factors (APF) and Maximum Use Concentrations (MUC) will determine the appropriate respirator mask to be used.

Questions? give us a call today: at KSA 615-426-9556 or drop us an email at

On-Site Respirator Fit Testing Pulmonary Function testing and Respiratory Clearance Medical Evaluations: The Mobile Onsite Advantage

Saturday, August 17th, 2019

When it comes to medical surveillance testing, you should have more options.

Why send your team to urgent care, where they will wait in long lines with the general public, costing you money and downtime.

 Your testing should be done on your terms and completed around your schedule.

That’s why we test 24/7/365 Onsite.

At KSA Occupational Services, we’re all about keeping your workplace productive and OSHA-compliant.

We test Nationwide.

·       Need Audio Hearing Exams, Respirator Fit Testing, Pulmonary Function testing (Spirometry) and OSHA Respirator Medical Evaluations?

How about Certified DOT  Physicals, and drug testing? , Hearing Conservation Training?

Meet all of your OSHA-required medical surveillance testing requirements at one time.

We safely maintain your company health records and offer you full accessibility. 

Questions & Answers for your Respirator Fit Tests and Respiratory Clearance Medical Evaluations:

Information to know: Every person required to wear a respirator in the workplace must be:

(1.) Medically evaluated to see if respirator use is safe for them and

(2.) Fit tested to make sure the respirator doesn’t leak. Employers are responsible for making sure these tests happen.

 Why a medical evaluation before respirator use? High blood pressure, asthma and emphysema can interfere with the safe use of respirators. So can bronchitis, epilepsy, even claustrophobia, anxiety and previous heart attack or stroke.

Medical evaluations must be provided by employers, but it doesn’t mean that employees must go see the doctor. Employers can have workers fill out the questionnaire from OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard, appendix C

A PLHCP Medical Provider then reviews the answers for approval or not, and further determination if further exam is needed (PFT Spirometry or other exam)

Medical evaluations video from OSHA:

Fit Testing.

Next, an employee must undergo a Respirator Fit Test with the make, model and size of respirator that he or she will wear on the job. Note: Only tight-fitting respirators need to be fit tested.

Two options: qualitative and quantitative.

First, qualitative. This checks for air leaks while the person is wearing a respirator. A hood is placed over their head.

A sweet, bitter or banana smelling gas is introduced into the hood. If the person can smell or taste the gas, there is a leak. Irritant smoke can also be used which causes coughing, though it is not performed with the hood.

Second, Quantitative. A machine is attached to the mask by a hose. It can measure if there’s a leak and how large the leak is.

Respirator fit testing video from OSHA:

Other considerations for fit tests:

— They must be performed at least once every 12 months.

— The seal can be impacted by facial hair, facial scars, major dental work, facial surgery and even significant weight loss or gain.

— The other gear a person will wear on the job can affect a good fit too. Glasses or goggles are examples.

— If a respirator doesn’t fit an employee, the employer must provide alternative respirators.

— Fit tests can be performed by the employer or by an outside party such as a Mobile testing company for on-site testing.

— Once cleared to use a respirator at work, an employee should perform a seal check before use daily. Look to the respirators manufacturer for procedures. There are two methods: negative pressure check and positive pressure check. These involve covering certain parts of the respirator and inhaling or exhaling.

Complete Your Respirator Clearance with KSA Occupational Services

As per OSHA, employers must provide the respirator medical clearance questionnaire to any employee required to wear a respirator at work to ensure that each employee is medically able to do so. At KSA Occupational services, we make completing the questionnaire an easy and affordable process. Your employees can complete the questionnaire , have it reviewed by our staff Medical Provider, and have a respirator clearance certificate issued. All information provided on the medical questionnaire will be handled in accordance to HIPAA and OSHA Regulation 29 CFR 1910.134 guidelines.

Questions? Need a quote?

Call KSA today at 615-426-9556.

Questions to be aware of regarding Respiratory FIT testing, PFT Spirometry testing, and the mandatory Medical evaluation Questionnaire

Saturday, August 17th, 2019

·       Questions to be aware of regarding Respiratory FIT testing and/or PFT Spirometry testing, and the mandatory Medical evaluation questionnaire prior to FIT testing.

1.     The respirator medical clearance process performed by KSA consists of the following components: • Review of completed OSHA respirator questionnaire by a qualified health care provider. If indicated by the responses on the OSHA respirator questionnaire, the following may be completed: • Vital signs • Medical history • Physical examination • Pulmonary function testing (spirometry) followed by the Respiratory FIT test.

2.     Type of Respirator, full face or half face or Disposable and what it is being used for? Paint? Emergency, chemical (what type) etc.

3.     Qualitative or Quantitative FIT testing? Type of FIT testing required: Qualitative fit testing is a pass/fail test method that uses your sense of taste or smell, or your reaction to an irritant in order to detect leakage into the respirator facepiece. Qualitative fit testing does not measure the actual amount of leakage. Whether the respirator passes or fails the test is based simply on you detecting leakage of the test substance into your facepiece usually utilizing a hood over the head with respirator on. Quantitative fit testing uses a machine to measure the actual amount of leakage into the face-piece and does not rely upon your sense of taste, smell, or irritation in order to detect leakage. The respirators used during this type of fit testing will have a probe attached to the face-piece that will be connected to the machine by a hose.

4.     PFT’s Spirometry required? AS part of the fit testing? Or as Medical Surveillance? And if for Medical Surveillance what for? or as part of medical exam with questionnaire for FIT testing?

5.     OSHA respirator medical questionnaire

Before donning a respirator, employees must be medically cleared to wear a respirator by a physician or other licensed healthcare professional. As part of the medical clearance process, a medical questionnaire is required to be answered by the employee. The questionnaire is confidential and has questions related to the employee’s health history and focuses on the task in which the employee is required to wear the respirator. The physician or other licensed healthcare professional will make the determination if the employee is physically fit to wear a respirator.

To save you time, money, and the hassle of coordinating clinic appointments OR Onsite testing on your schedule, KSA evaluates and reviews the medical evaluation of respirator wearers as required by the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134**), prior to the FIT testing procedure.

You must be fit tested before you use a respirator in the workplace, and you must be retested at least every 12 months to make sure that the respirator you use still fits you. You must be fit tested with the specific make, model, style, and size of respirator that you will be using.

You have questions? We have answers. We test onsite 24/7/365 on your schedule

Call KSA Occupational Services. 615-426-9556

Dr. Michael Tigges


Saturday, August 17th, 2019


Each employee enrolled in a company’s Respiratory Protection Program must have a current Medical Clearance for Respiratory Use, must receive an annual respirator fit test and must receive annual respiratory training. KSA Occupational Services helps our clients maintain compliance with these key components of the OSHA Respiratory Standard 29 CFR 1910.134.

Respiratory Clearance

·        OSHA Health History Questionnaire

·        Spirometry (lung capacity test)

·        Physician review

Respirator Fit testing

·        Qualitative fit testing for half-masks

·        Quantitative fit testing for full-faced masks


·        Fit testing documentation with employee signatures

·        Medical clearance forms with physician recommendation

Respiratory Training

·        OSHA-approved video training

·        Question and answer session available upon request

·        Sign-in sheets provided to client as documentation of training


Saturday, August 17th, 2019


KSA Occupational Services audiometric testing program is administered in accordance with OSHA Regulatory Standard 29 CFR 1910.95. The OSHA Occupational Noise Exposure Standard contains a “Mobile Test Van Exception” with regard to obtaining an employee’s baseline audiogram.

For those not implementing mobile van services, OSHA provides the following guidelines: 1910.95(g)(5)(i) ³Within 6 months of an employee’s first exposure at or above the action level, the employer shall establish a valid baseline audiogram against which subsequent audiograms can be compared.´

For those taking advantage of mobile van services, OSHA states: 1910.95(g)(5)(ii) ³Mobile test van exception. Where mobile test vans are used to meet the audiometric testing obligation, the employer shall obtain a valid baseline audiogram within 1 year of an employee’s first exposure at or above the action level. Where baseline audiograms are obtained more than 6 months after the employee’s first exposure at or above the action level, employees shall wear hearing protectors for any period exceeding six months after first exposure until the baseline audiogram

We specialize in OSHA Audiometric Hearing testing and Hearing Conservation programs:

Audiometric Testing

·        Testing booths have a triple-layer of sound proofing

·        Up to 6 employees tested at a time

·        State-of-the-art Benson micro-processor audiometers are used for consistency and accuracy

·        Immediate comparison to baseline

·        Audiometers automatically retest any frequency where a hearing shift has occurred

·        If completed test shows an STS, most employees can receive their re-test on the same day or next day.

Otoscope exam conducted when problematic tests occur

·        Continuous monitoring of test room noise levels

·        Testing instructions available in 8 languages

Documentation via Web-based Reporting

·        Secure, password protected

·        Retest reports

·        Standard Threshold Shift (STS) reports

·        Notification letters

·        OSHA Recordable reports

·        Group reports

·        Equipment calibration reports

Audiometric Training

·        OSHA-approved video training

·        Pamphlets available upon request

·        Question and answer session available upon request

·        Sign-in sheets provided to client as documentation of training

Ensure Your Crane Operator is Safe With The Help of a DOT Medical Examination

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019
Mobile Health and Safety Services
OSHA Compliant Audiometric Hearing Tests – Respiratory FIT Testing – NIOSH Pulmonary Function Testing – OSHA Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire – Noise Surveys – Air Sampling – Certified DOT Physicals – Crane Certification Physicals – Drug & Alcohol Testing – Safety Training

Mobile Health and Safety Services
OSHA Compliant Audiometric Hearing Tests – Respiratory FIT Testing – NIOSH Pulmonary Function Testing – OSHA Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire – Noise Surveys – Air Sampling – Certified DOT Physicals – Crane Certification Physicals – Drug & Alcohol Testing – Safety Training

Dr. Michael Tigges

Ensure Your Crane Operator is Safe With The Help of a DOT Medical Examination

Crane accidents and other construction incidents are a reality of the business, which is just one reason why the services of Dr. Michael Tigges at Same Day DOT Physicals Drug & Alcohol Testing—on behalf of the DOT Medical Examiner in Gallatin, TN outside of Nashville—are so essential to anyone working within the Department of Transportation. With construction accidents on the risein the United States, it has become all the more important that the individuals operating cranes are given necessary physical exams. Tests are conducted per the standards of the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators.

 The importance of a DOT Medical Examiner test speaks for itself. The exam will indicate that:

·       The operator has not consumed any over-the-counter substances that would interfere with their work.

·       The operator is not using illegal drugs or medications acquired without a prescription.

The exam will incorporate:

·       A comprehensive physical to assure optimal health

·       Additional testing as necessary, including:

o  EKG

o  Radiography

o  Lab blood work

·       Examination for any condition or disease that could interfere with an ability to complete the job safely

Waivers on prescription medications will be obtained from a certified physician, as necessary, to indicate that a medicine will not interfere with an operator’s abilities to work.

Operators taking the DOT physical are able to prove their physical and medical qualifications and receive a medical examiner certificate proving that they are capable of operating cranes and completing their jobs safely.

Crane operators have no small task on their hands, literally. Dr. Michael Tigges, a FMSCA Certified Medical Examiner, will conduct all exams as well as a full panel Drug and Alcohol Testing and Evidential Breath Alcohol Test on behalf of the DOT Medical Examiner. You can call 615-452-1575 to schedule a test


Wednesday, April 25th, 2018


A question we get asked over and over again is “How often should noise assessments and noise surveys be carried out?”

Unfortunately, there is no clear cut answer listed in regulation.

Do You Require Updated Noise Assessments?

So why would a noise survey no longer be valid and when should previous noise assessments be reviewed?

* The process is changed in any way.

* Installation of new machines, and removal of old machines.

* Noise control measures have become reasonably practicable.

* You change the shifts an operator works (i.e. you go from 8hrs to 12hrs).

* Noise controls have been installed (and you want to see if things have improved).

* Your Audiometry Testing has shown a significant deterioration in employee’s hearing levels.

* You become aware of new ways of working or controlling noises (e.g. as written in trade journals).

 In answer to the question, there is no set frequency for noise assessments; however a regular noise survey helps determine if there is any deterioration in machinery that may be causing increases in noise level. Therefore we recommend that noise levels are carried out and reviewed at least every two years.

See OSHA standards here:  Monitoring noise levels non-mandatory informational appendix

 Experts In Noise Assessments Noise Surveys Air Sampling surveys.

KSA Hearing Conservation LLC has the experience in providing occupational noise and air monitoring services to enable compliance with the Control of Noise and Air at Work Regulations.

Call us at 615-426-9556 or fill out our email us at for any queries regarding  Noise Surveys, noise assessments, workplace noise regulations or any of our many other Environmental and Occupational Hygiene services.

Noise Survey for OSHA Compliance, Dosimetry & Noise and AIR Testing

If you need a noise survey and/or Air sampling Survey for OSHA compliance, dosimetry & noise and air testing as discussed in this article call us at 615-426-9556 or email us at for details and a free estimate.

 Written by Dr. Michael Tigges

April 25th, 2018

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Audiometric Hearing Tests – OSHA Compliant

Friday, March 9th, 2018

On-Site Audiometric Testing, Professionally Trained Staff -OSHA Compliant

Let KSA Hearing Conservation bring Audiometric Testing to your location(s) according to your schedule. We offer a professionally trained staff to provide all of the required audiometric testing and reporting for the following:

 Baseline and Annual Audiometric Testing

 Review and interpretation of each test

 Analysis, recommendations, summary report and notifications

 Meets OSHA regulations

Our screening services are federally standard compliant and clinically sound. Health tests are professionally reviewed by our physicians or consulting audiologists, as applicable, giving your employees reliable recommendations.

Our prices are competitive and our testing accurate and reproducible. Why go anywhere else?

Annual Audiograms at Your Facility

KSA Hearing Consrevation LLC will come to your facility with our state-of-the-art Microprocessor Audiometers. With no extra on-site setup fee, we can take care of your OSHA-required hearing-conservation training and test 8-10 people at a time every hour.

All tests are conducted using the top-of-the-line Microprocessor Audiometers. Our calibrated sound-level meter assures that ambient noise will not interfere with your hearing tests.

We can even do retests, make-up tests and work-related reviews if needed. We are happy to schedule any shifts you need tested, any time of day.

Audiometric Testing is required by OSHA & MSHA annually to all employees who are exposed to noise levels equal or greater than 85dBA.

Audiometric Testing

The fact is, most companies are noisy work environments. As an employer, you are required to assess your employees’ hearing annually and educate them in hearing conservation. Our team can help you safeguard your employees’ hearing and comply with all OSHA 29 CFR 1910.95 regulations.

After setting up our audiometry unit on-site, we will obtain a medical and “noise” history from each employee. At the same time, at your discretion, we will instruct them in hearing conservation techniques as required by law. We will then inspect the ear canals and drums for abnormalities and/or wax obstruction – anything that might decrease their hearing – then perform the 10-minute test. Our audiometer is computer-controlled and exceeds all ANSI S3.6-1989 requirements. Upon completion of all testing, the data is reviewed, adjusted for age (as required), compared against baseline and finalized. All employees with a presumptive STS are identified and reports are returned to your designated representative, usually within 72 hours. Data is provided in PDF form for easy assimilation into your company’s files. In addition, we provide the required employee notification letters at no additional charge, relieving you of that regulatory burden.

Because we are local, repeat testing for those with a presumptive STS can be done in our office at the employee’s convenience. We also understand that your employees’ time off the clock affects your bottom line, that’s why – unlike out-of-state companies who tell YOU when they can do your testing, Same Day DOT Physicals Drug & Alcohol Testing is flexible and can schedule according to your schedule. That means your third-shift employees can be tested on third shift, reducing employee disruption and lessening downtime.

Our service areas include: Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, and all Southeast states.

Our Traditional Industrial Audiometric Testing services include the following:

• On-site Audiometric Testing In-Plant Testing

• 6 – 10 Employees tested per hour

• Microprocessor audiometer Testing

• Employee database tracking capabilities

(name, social security number *, birth date, date of employment)

• Otoscopic (ear) examination on all employees

• Hearing and ear histories on all employees

• Immediate on-site notification letters for all employees, following hearing test procedure

• Brief industrial audiometric testing consultation, following Hearing test procedure

• In-Plant Testing (Passing OSHA noise level requirements)

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Are My Standard Threshold Shifts (STS’s) Recordable?

Friday, March 9th, 2018

Determining Recordability and Work Relatedness

A STS (standard threshold shift) tells us that an employee’s hearing has worsened compared to baseline test results, but does not tell us why it has worsened. Since OSHA considers most STS’s to be work-related unless determined otherwise by an appropriate professional, you may simply record all the STS’s on the OSHA 300 Log.

 DID YOU KNOW, however, that you can have an audiologist or a physician make a determination regarding the work-relatedness of your STS’s?

You may, of course, utilize the services of local audiologists or physicians, but an excellent first choice would be the audiologist or Physician who provides professional oversight of your hearing conservation program and audiometric testing.

OSHA considers most STS’s to be work-related unless determined otherwise by an appropriate professional.

The determination process is straightforward. You will most likely be asked to submit a questionnaire indicating the employee’s 8-hour TWA (time-weighted average) noise exposure and the NRR (noise reduction rating) of his or her hearing protection. Earplug or earmuff NRR’s are determined by the manufacturer and can be found on the product packaging material. Time weighted average noise exposure is best measured by personal dosimetry, although a sound level meter can be used. If the employee works an extended shift, it will be important to provide values normalized to an 8-hour shift as OSHA requires that this information be furnished to the audiogram reviewer. You will also be asked to provide information about non-work noise exposure and any health conditions that may possibly be affecting hearing.

The reviewing professional will check to see if the hearing protection worn by the employee is adequate for the reported noise exposure. The employee’s audiometric history will also be examined in conjunction with information you have provided in the questionnaire to include medical history that may affect or cause a shift along with potential outside activities such as chainsaw use, target shooting and other activities that may have an affect on a shift and determining if it is work-related.

Certain audiometric configurations may suggest conductive hearing loss and, especially in combination with information suggesting a current cold sinus condition or a history of outer or middle ear problem, may be determined “not work-related.” Most cases, however, are not so straightforward. More often, it is the additional information provided in the questionnaire regarding health conditions or non-work noise exposure that is critical. Make sure you are provided the questionnaire and if not contact me directly for information in this regard as this is an important factor with any Potential STS that may occur during testing.

Many audiometric configurations will show high frequency hearing losses, which suggest the sensorineural losses caused by both noise and aging. Of help in distinguishing these two common causes of sensorineural loss is the employee’s pure tone threshold at 8000 Hz. OSHA does not require testing at this frequency, but it is strongly recommended that you include it in your testing program. While both noise and age result in high frequency hearing losses, the pure tone configurations typically differ in that noise induced hearing loss will often show an improvement at 8000 Hz while age-related hearing loss will not.

If the pure tone configuration suggests noise-induced hearing loss, is that loss due to workplace noise or recreational noise, a medical condition, medications, or a combination of both? What about power tools or firearm use? What about family history of hearing loss? Is there a history of diabetes? High blood pressure, medications. Without additional information, the reviewer may be unable to make a determination as to whether or not the STS is work-related.

Remember that OSHA considers most STS’s to be work-related, However, OSHA does give you the option, however, of having an audiologist or a physician review each of your STS’s for work-relatedness. Make sure your company is providing a  WORK-RELATEDNESS DETERMINATION QUESTIONNAIRE

 This questionnaire must be completed if a retest of an annual hearing test reveals a CONFIRMED OSHA STS. While such review does not guarantee that a given STS will be determined “not work-related,” it will almost certainly reduce the overall number of cases you need to record on the OSHA 300 Log.

Questions, call us today at KSA Hearing Conservation.

Michael Tigges DC, CME, COHC

Mobile: 615-406-0497 or email at


Same Day Dot Physicals Drug & Alcohol Testing

Nationally Registered Certified Medical Examiner

Director Scheduler

On-Site Audiometric Testing

Friday, March 9th, 2018

On-Site Audiometric Testing

Audiometric Testing is required by OSHA & MSHA annually to all employees who are exposed to noise levels equal or greater than 85dBA

Workers in the oil, gas, mining, construction and many other fields can be exposed to harmful noise levels during equipment operation. If you’re an employer who’s industry exposes your employees to occupational noise levels higher than OSHA or MSHA mandates you’ll need to offer Audiometric testing. This process will start by determining the noise exposure level within the workplace environment. Areas where occupational noise level testing exceeds the federal maximum standards employers must offer audiometric hearing evaluations on an annual basis.

Our service areas include: Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, & Texas. If your state is not listed please call 615-426-9556 to see if we service your area.

Let KSA Hearing Conservation bring Audiometric Testing to your location(s) according to your schedule. We offer a professionally trained staff and fully equipped units to provide all of the required audiometric testing and reporting for the following:

  • Baseline and Annual Audiometric Testing
  • Review and interpretation of each test
  • Analysis, recommendations, summary report and notification
  • Meets OSHA and MSHA regulations

All of our medical staff and health technicians are licensed or certified in their fields of expertise. Our screening services are federal standard compliant and clinically sound. Health tests are professionally reviewed by our physicians or audiologists, as applicable, giving your employees reliable recommendations. Call 615-426-9556 for more information.

By: Dr. Michael Tigges