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7 Industries That Must Comply With OSHA Fit Testing Standards

By Flavia Lima March 15, 2021

osha fit testing

OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard is most frequently disregarded by companies, even though it comes with harsh penalties. During an official inspection, if the company is found lacking in OSHA fit testing, equipment, or training, it can be fined. 

Any employee or worker who comes in contact with air that is contaminated with dangerous gases, fogs, mists, dusts, vapors, sprays, fumes, or smokes as a part of their job duties should wear a suitable respirator.

Who Should Conform To OSHA Fit Testing Standards

There are many industries that handle harmful substances on a regular basis:

Wood Products: Few people realize how much work it takes to actually produce and prepare wood for household use. Logging, transportation, heavy processing, sealing, and finishing is crucial to create wood-made products, and each of these processes release several toxins such as phenol, methanol, and acetaldehyde.

Plastic and Rubber: The plastics and rubber industry is one of the most toxic work environments in the world. Workers in rubber or plastic manufacturing plants are exposed to chemicals that have been identified as endocrine disrupting chemicals and carcinogens. 

Steel and Metal: Hazardous substances in the metal and steel industry are known to cause chronic illness and acute toxicity. Toxic gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and methane are released during the steel production which pose a great threat to workers’ health.

Petroleum: Petroleum vapors and gases consist of harmful toxins such as methane, butane, and benzene. In the oil and gas industry, petroleum gases are known as hydrocarbon gas or “sweet gas”; workers handling the oil storage tanks are at an increased risk of exposure to these lethal gases.

Healthcare: As unlikely as it sounds, even healthcare settings have hazardous chemicals present, which pose an exposure risk for healthcare workers. The anesthetic gases, aerosolized medications, and antineoplastic drugs used to treat patients are among them.

Medical supplies and instruments are cleaned and sterilized using glutaraldehyde and ethylene oxide are also dangerous. In addition to bacteria and viruses, the surgical smoke generated by electrosurgical devices and lasers during surgical procedures is equally harmful.

Dental: Dental industry workers who are exposed to dental alloys containing beryllium may develop chronic beryllium disease (CBD). CBD is a severe lung disease and a growing number of dental lab technicians are considered at risk by OSHA.

Paper: There is a reason why a growing number of people are moving away from paper and paper products. During the process of making paper, carbon monoxide, sulfur oxide, nitrous oxide, and dioxin (among other chemicals) are released.

If you operate in any of the above-listed industries, you need OSHA fit testing to be a part of your organization. Your workers should ideally be wearing a suitable respirator to stay safe against the myriad of toxic elements. Since there are several types of respirators, you will need to choose one that is designed for the unique hazards of your industry. 

Professional Fit Testing Helps Companies Adhere To OSHA Fit Testing Standards

As a leader in health and safety training, Professional Fit Testing Services is no stranger to OSHA fit testing requirements. We help employees and their organizations across dozens of industries meet OSHA fit testing prerequisites to avoid fines and penalties. 

We can help satisfy regulatory compliance for OSHA respirator fit tests with the exact tests you need. We can also provide quantitative and qualitative respirator fit tests to meet strict mandatory guidelines of OSHA. Call us at 336-901-7784 or write to us online to know more.

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