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Respirator Fit Testing is Required Every Year

Monday, January 18th, 2021

Every employer knows that employees must be fit tested before you use a respirator in the workplace. You must be fit tested with the specific make, model, style, and size of respirator that you will be using.

That’s the first part of OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910. But, THERE is the second part of the regulation.

The full regulation states that employers shall ensure that an employee using a tight-fitting facepiece respirator is fit tested prior to initial use of the respirator, whenever a different respirator facepiece (size, style, model or make) is used, and at least annually thereafter.

It may be time to schedule their yearly testing. OSHA is strict on the respiratory standard, especially in light of the current pandemic, and you don’t want to be caught off-guard, SO IT may be time to schedule your yearly testing.

DON’T FORGET OSHA Respirator Medical Clearance
When respiratory protection is required employers must have a respirator protection program as specified in OSHA’s Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134). Before wearing a respirator, workers must first be medically evaluated using the mandatory medical questionnaire or an equivalent method.

Respiratory protection is number five on OSHA’s Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards.

What is Respirator Fit Testing?
Annual fit testing is important because it ensures that an employee’s facepiece respirator works effectively.

Respirators need to fit tightly in order to work, and an employee’s respirator size or fit may change year to year.

There are two types of required testing:

The Qualitative Fit Test
1. The Qualitative Fit Test – This test measures effectiveness based on an employee’s sense of taste and smell, rather than a numeric measure. Employees must react to a test agent substance that has a distinct taste or smell while wearing their respirator. This helps detect leakage into the respirator facepiece.

The Quantitative Fit Test
2. The Quantitative Fit Test – Instead of relying on senses, this test uses a machine to measure the amount of leakage into a facepiece.

The Easiest Way to Test
Amid a pandemic, the last thing you want to do during a pandemic is to send your team to urgent care and most of the hospitals are overwhelmed.

In addition to long wait times with the general public, they may be at higher risk for COVID-19 exposure. The easiest way to test is for us to come to you on your schedule.

The Respirator Standard & Medical Clearance
We get calls from customers that get wrote up for being out of compliance for respirators because during the OSHA Inspection they did not have Medical clearance to use their PAPRs (Powered Air Purifying Respirators), which don’t need fit testing. however, they’re still classified as respirators, so they have to have respirator medical clearances on file.”

Therefore, employees must be evaluated before they are fit tested, according to OSHA standard 1910.134(e)(1). That section states that “the employer shall provide a medical evaluation to determine the employee’s ability to use a respirator, before the employee is fit tested or required to use a respirator in the workplace.”

Get Your Respirator Clearances with KSA

At KSA OCCUPATIONAL SERVICES, we make respirator medical clearances easy and fast.

Get started with these easy steps: Call 615-426-9556

Complete your respirator clearance questionnaire, then submit;
The completed respirator clearance questionnaire will be reviewed by our staff PLHCP Medical Provider;
A respirator clearance certificate will be issued
With mobile medical testing, you can get fit-testing done at your worksite. On your schedule. On your terms. Or get your FIT testing and Audiometric testing both done!

KSA OCCUPATIONAL Can bring the testing facility to you. Schedule today to secure your testing dates


In addition to on-site respirator fit tests, we also conduct AUDIOMETRIC exams & training, pulmonary function tests right on your job site.

We also keep accurate, easy-to-access medical records for your convenience. You’ll keep your employees at work, and stay ahead of OSHA inspections.

With KSA OCCUPATIONAL SERVICES, — we can bring everything to you. Our certified lab technicians can perform both qualitative and quantitative respirator tests to ensure a perfect fit.

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We test NATIONWIDE. Give us a call at 1-615-426-9556, or go to to schedule an on-site visit or to get your free quote!

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

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

Friday, March 15th, 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.

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Respirator Fit Testing Respirator Clearance Pulmonary Function Test (Spirometry)

Thursday, January 24th, 2019


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

Industrial Hearing Tests

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Industrial Hearing Tests

Hearing damage is a real and unfortunate effect of long-term exposure to loud noise. Noise is a hazard of industrial workers and workers of any occupation who are repeatedly exposed to loud noise.

Hearing damage from noise is fully preventable when the right precautions are taken from the start. Regular hearing tests to evaluate any early signs of hearing loss, as well as everyday preventative measures such as the use of ear plugs go a long way toward prevention of permanent hearing loss.

Industrial Hearing Test Requirements

Organizations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have enacted requirements and procedures for hearing conservation in an effort to standardize hearing safety practices and reduce the incidence of preventable hearing damage. Some states also have their own guidelines, as well as the Department of Defense.

In most cases, OSHA requires that employees who are exposed to a time weighted average (TWA) of 85 dB be part of a hearing conservation program which includes hearing testing and employee training. Industrial manufacturers are also required to report evaluation results. Official hearing conservation standards are listed in OSHA CFR 29 1910.95 & MSHA Part 62.

Industrial Hearing Conservation Programs

Some companies choose to meet these requirements independently. However, most companies choose to hire out a hearing conservation company to conduct hearing evaluations, keep records, and make sure they comply with all safety standards and meet safety goals.

Failure to test and/or report noise exposure levels and the impact on employees can cost companies thousands in legal fees and federal fines. Hiring a professional or company to make sure they are in complete compliance is worth it in the long run.

Hearing conservation companies usually have mobile hearing evaluation units that are used to travel and perform on-site hearing evaluation services. They are typically staffed by an audiologist and/or an Occupational Hearing Conservationist (OHC, also known as an Industrial Audiometric Technician).

OHC Technicians are certified by the Council of Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation (CAOHC) and are supervised by an audiologist or physician. They are trained to conduct hearing conservation procedures including pure-tone air conduction hearing testing. Their training is very specific to occupational settings only and is not applicable in non-occupational practices.

Education and Referrals

COHC Technicians are trained to detect possible indications of early hearing loss as well as provide training for employees. If a possible hearing problem is detected, the technician will refer the employee for further tests by a hearing specialist.

Basic education and training for employees may include how to properly fit and wear hearing protection devices. Some employees may require more sophisticated and customized hearing protection. Environmental modifications on the part of the employer may also be in order.

Hearing evaluations are an important part of keeping industrial working environments safe for employees. Each company will need to find industrial hearing testing solutions that work for them.

By: Dr. Michael Tigges

Audiometric Hearing Tests – OSHA Compliant

Monday, June 26th, 2017

On-Site Audiometric Testing, Professionally Trained Staff OSHA Compliant

Let Same Day DOT Physicals Drug & Alcohol Testing 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 federal 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

Same Day DOT Physicals Drug & Alcohol Testing 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.

audiometric 3

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

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)

If you would like to find out more about Audiometric Testing or become a client [ninja_form id=1], please contact us using the link below or give us a call today.