Employees working in a dental office, including dental assistants, hygienists and dentists across all specialties are required by OSHA regulations to wear a fitted N95 respirator mask while working with patients, including performing routine cleanings and checkups as well as more in-depth procedures including root canals, teeth whitening and orthodontia. Respirator masks are designed to protect the wearer from particles that are transmitted through the air as dental work is being performed, filtering out anything potentially moving through the air that can harm you. AFC Urgent Care Marlborough performs respirator fit tests seven days a week to ensure the safety of dental employees in Marlborough and the surrounding communities. Fit tests are required of dental employees to ensure full fit and protection.
Before Your Respirator Fit Test
Employees will need to come to their respirator fit test prepared with their chosen mask. Masks will either need to have been selected by the employee or provided by the dental office and must be NIOSH certified to protect against potential toxins found in the specific environment. In addition, employees must bring any additional safety equipment worn while on the job to ensure that nothing interferes with the fit of the mask including goggles, face shields, scrubs or gowns and protective head and ear wear. In order to make sure the mask fits properly, employees must be clean-shaven.
What a Fit Test Determines
Testing agents used during the fit test will be determined by the employer. The test is performed in a series of exercises performed for one minute each:
- Regular breathing
- Deep breathing
- The range of motion you have in your head and neck while wearing the mask including up and down, side to side and when bending over
- Speaking while wearing the mask
- Regular breathing after activity in the mask
The tests are designed to answer two questions for a pass or fail result:
- Are there medical limitations to wearing the mask or will the employee be able to wear it safely and comfortably for the duration of their shift?
- Will a follow-up evaluation be required?
Depending on the results of the exercises and the follow-up questions, a statement will be provided to the employee with a result or recommendation.
Respirator Fit Test for Dental Professionals in Marlborough, MA
If you are a dental professional and are required to wear an N95 respirator mask during your workday, visit AFC Urgent Care Marlborough today! Our center is open to walk-in patients seven days a week. To set up an occupational health program for your company, please call 508-658-0764.