What is an N95 Fit Test?
A “fit test” is used to determine if a N95 mask is a good fit for the user’s face. Special substances are used to ensure an airtight seal during the test, something that is imperceptible to the user otherwise.
Do I Need an N95 Fit Test?
All front-line healthcare workers are required to have an N95 fit test according to the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and Ontario’s Occupational Safety Act (OHSA). It is against WorkSafe BC and OHSA policy for healthcare workers to work without a current N95 mask fit test.
Why Do I Need an N95 Fit Test?
Many communicable diseases are transmitted in the air. These particles are so fine that they can pass through the filters in regular surgical masks and imperceptible leaks/holes in an ill-fitted N95 mask. Ensuring we have a current fit test will protect us against these airborne pathogens, keeping us, our patients, our communities, and our families safe.
How Often Do I Need a Fit Test?
A fit test needs to be done every two years minimum OR if the user has changes to their physical condition such as weight loss, weight gain, facial or dental surgery, or major dental work, as these could all alter the way the mask fits. Some facilities may request a fit test every year.
*Please ensure you plan to renew your fit test well before the expiry date as dates can be few and far between depending on your location. Do not wait for it to expire and then search out options.*
Where Can I Get an N95 Fit Test?
It is advised to check with the Health and Safety department of your home hospital to request an N95 fit test. If you do not have a home hospital, or your home unit does not provide N95 fit testing, you can do an internet search by typing “N95 Fit Test” followed by the city you live in. This should bring up private companies that do N95 fit tests around you. Many require you to bring your own mask.
If you have tried all of the above options and still cannot find a plan to renew your N95 mask, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
How Do I Know if the Facility I am Going to Will Have My Size?
We place your N95 mask fit test on your profile, which is reviewed by the facility you are going to. It is up to the facility to ensure they have your size or retest you on arrival with a mask they have in stock. If you ever arrive to a facility where they do not have your size and they cannot fit test you, ensure you do not perform any procedures requiring an N95 mask fit, inform the manager of the situation, and inform the Clinical Department by phone at 1-866-255-8355 (note it is urgent) Monday-Friday 0800-1600 OR after-hours at 1-250-613-3642.
For more information about PPE and when to wear an N95 mask, please click here: PPE, AGMPs, and PCRAs: COVID-19