Respiratory protection training and fit testing is intended for McGill staff and students who require respiratory protection while performing activities connected to McGill University. Although the elimination or reduction of respiratory hazards through substitution or engineering controls is preferred, there may be instances in which the use of a respirator is required.
EHS provides respiratory protection training and fit testing for McGill staff and students only.
Note: Respiratory fit testing needs to be repeated if there are facial changes due to a 10% weight loss or gain, pregnancy or facial/dental surgery.
Please rpp.ehs [at] mcgill.ca (email us) if you have any questions or if you do not know which type of training/fit test you should register for.
What is Fit Testing?
In order to protect the user from respiratory hazards, a respirator must fit the user's face and form a tight seal. The purpose of a fit test is to verify an effective seal with the respirator and the user's face.
Qualitative fit testing relies on the user to detect taste and smell to measure the leakage into a respirator and Quantitative fit testing uses a machine to measure the leakage into a respirator.
Fit testing is done after respiratory safety training is completed and also verifies that the user is able to demonstrate the required level of competency in how to inspect the respirator prior to use, don the respirator, perform a user seal check, and doff the respirator.
The Fit Test Process
- Prior to fit testing, the user must complete the Health Validation Form / Validation santé. Note that if ‘Yes’ is answered to any of the questions in Section 2, then the user must have Section 3 completed by a physician.
- A fit test shall be done before the initial use of a respirator, and then repeated every 2 years. If the user undergoes a change that may affect the fit of the respirator (ex. weight loss/gain, pregnancy, dental changes, cosmetic surgery, etc.) then EHS should be advised and fit testing should be repeated.
- After the fit test, those using a reusable half/full-face respirator need to complete the Monthly Inspection form for Air Purifying Respirator (APR) masks
- Half/full-face reusable respirators should be cleaned using the 3M Guide to Clean a Reusable Respirator
The day of the fit test:
In order to ensure a proper seal with the respirator, the user must be clean shaven and long hair must be tied back. Facial piercings and jewelry may also need to be removed.
If you are currently using a reusable half/full-face respirator, please bring it with you to the appointment, along with any PPE that you will use (safety glasses, hardhat, hearing protection, etc).
In addition, for qualitative fit testing for N95 respirators, please do not eat, chew gum or drink anything (other than water) 30 minutes prior to your fit test appointment.
How to Register for a Fit Test
Quantitative Fit Testing
Quantitative fit testing uses a machine to measure the leakage into a respirator. EHS uses quantitative fit testing for reusable half-face and full-face respirators. This course is not intended for those who require N95 fit testing.
Please complete Quantitative Fit Test registration.
EHS has 3M reusable respirators available for fit testing. If you have a different make, it may not be possible to have your respirator fit-tested.
Qualitative Fit Testing
Qualitative fit testing relies on the user to detect taste and smell to measure the leakage into a respirator. EHS uses qualitative fit testing for N95 respirators. This course is not intended for those who require fit testing for reusable half-face or full-face respirators.
- Students should first contact their Faculty or School for an appointment through the Student Wellness Hub for N95 fit testing, as they offer this service for students at no charge.
- Please complete Qualitative Fit Test registration.
Please do not eat, chew gum or drink anything (other than water) 30 minutes prior to your fit test appointment.
EHS has the following N95 respirators available for fit testing:
- 3M 1870+
- 3M 9205+
- 3M 1860/S
- Moldex 1500 series
If you require fit testing on another model of N95 respirator, you must bring a box of this model of N95 respirator with you to the fit test.
Documentation and Resources for the Respiratory Protection Program
- McGill's Respiratory Protection Awareness Guidelines
- Monthly Inspection form for Air Purifying Respirator (APR) masks
- Respiratory Hazard Assessment form (Bioaerosol contaminants)
- Respiratory Hazard Assessment form (Chemical contaminants)
- Health Validation Form
- Validation santé
- 3M Guide to Clean a Reusable Respirator
- 3M 1870+ Wear it Right Poster
- 3M 1860/1860S Wear it Right Poster
- 3M 9205+ Wear it Right Poster
- Moldex 1500 Fit Guide