CoronaVirus Fit Testing Policies and Procedures

Due to an increase in risk with Covid 19, and human to human transmission while conducting face fit testing we implemented additional procedures for both office and onsite testing.

 

 

The decision to continue fit testing has not been made lightly, however with the increased need in the healthcare sector we have decided to proceed and then to implement further controls to reduce the risk as far as is reasonably practicable. We have built the below processes based off advice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), this fit testing guidance during Covid 19 can be found here. 3M has also given guidance on fit testing during Covid 19- this can be found here.

 

 

If you feel any of the below procedures can be modified to make fit testing safer please email Sebastian Rasche  at [email protected], or contact him directly on 0412 889 317. Any feedback from medical specialists and providers is welcome.

 

 

For non accredited  training, this shall still be delivered, however social distancing will apply- we have opted to follow the guidance of ASQA. This guidance can be found here.

 

 

Procedures are as follows:

 

  • all workers being fit tested onsite or at our office shall wash hands prior to testing, operators shall also wash hands between fit tests and wear gloves. When wearing gloves all care will be taken not to touch surfaces unnecessarily, when gloves are removed this shall be done to avoid hand contamination
  • all hand shaking will be avoided (please do not think this is disrespect or unfriendly- this is purely controlling transmission risk)
  • all fit test adaptors shall be sanitised between uses- please see procedure for disinfecting probes below, we will only use disinfectants in line with the list of products that meet EPA criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, we shall also ensure the suggested contact time is adhered to or exceeded. Disinfection procedures may seem over the top, however we want to ensure that we have multiple opportunities to eliminate any risk of Covid 19 on surfaces
  • all respirators will be wiped down and cleaned prior to fit testing with isopropyl alcohol wipes, allowing at least 30 seconds contact time, the respirator shall be wiped down and sanitised by the worker being tested
  • we will only test on masks owned by the client, or new masks- we will not test on our masks unless they have been disinfected in line with manufacturers specifications- see below procedure
  • fit test vehicle/office surfaces/ laptops/ PortaCounts/ Twin Tubes shall be wiped down prior and after use with isopropyl alcohol wipes
  • door handles shall be wiped down at regular intervals
  • all fit test waste will be disposed of immediately after fit testing
  • PST staff members shall not work if they have any of the following symptoms:
    • fever
    • flu like symptoms
    • shortness of breath
    • headaches/aches and pain
  • PST staff will not travel between states (ie NSW/ NT/ VIC) unless it is absolutely critical and for medical/hospital fit testing for Covid 19. 14 day isolation shall occur if travelling back into QLD- at the moment this is our current lawyers advice and is subject to change
  • if customers present to testing with symptoms of a Cold/Flu/Covid 19, we may refuse to test them
  • operators and workers being tested shall always maintain at least 1.5m between each other while at the office
  • When testing at the office a maximum of 8 individuals will be allowed within the office to ensure we keep 4 square metres between people
  • If testing in the van testing will be completed one on one and the operator shall wear a respirator (cleanspace or SR100) with coveralls and boot covers, if possible testing will always be done onsite with sufficient room (ie site office)
  • Surface Spray Disinfectant is to be used at regular intervals

 

 

For testing completed within the van onsite, due to the close proximity we have the additional control measures:

  • workers are to enter van wearing respirator and then conduct test
  • operator is to wear respirator, gloves and coveralls
  • where possible fit testing shall take place within an office rather than the van
  • where possible testing shall be one on one

 

 

For additional information please see QLD Governments Health Department Information.

 

 

 

 

Procedure for disinfecting respirators between use when fit testing

 

 

Due to an increase risk of respiratory related illnesses/viruses we have implemented the following procedure for washing/sanitizing respirators when fit testing. This is intended for customers who do not have their own respirators and wish to be tested on our respirators. Please note we will try to always test on your own respirators however sometimes this is not possible.

 

Equipment and Materials:

  • Bucket 1- 70% Alcohol/Water Mix (3L)
  • Bucket 2- Water Soap Mixture (Dishwashing Liquid) (5L)
  • Bucket 3- Water (3L)
  • Water Container (to hold water when no tap exists)
  • Kleenbreak
  • Isopropyl alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol- Isocol)
  • Isopropyl alcohol (Diggers)
  • Alcohol Wipes (Allen’s)

 

Directions:

  1. Prepare and fill each Bucket with mix and let sit
  2. Once respirator has been used respirator worker is to spray inside of respirator with IPA (Diggers) and allow at least 5 minutes contact, this is then to be washed under running water
  3. Respirator is to be placed in Bucket 1 and left for at least 5 minutes to disinfect.
  4. Respirator is to be removed and then washed a second time in Bucket 2. When doing this dunk the respirator multiple times to wash all the alcohol mix out.
  5. Respirator is then washed a third time in Bucket 3.
  6. If desired user can wash out an additional time under running water
  7. Respirator is to be dried for at least 1 hour between use
  8. Prior to reuse or fit testing user is to then wipe down twice with Isopropyl alcohol wipes 
  9. Filters are to be wiped down between uses with alcohol wipes
  10. Buckets and contents are to be discarded at regular intervals
  11. Use Kleenbreak on buckets post cleaning

 

Guidance and Justification:

  1. Sundstrom Guidance on disinfecting SR100 for Covid 19- https://www.sea.com.au/docs_menu/docs/bro_virus_protection.pdf
  2. Sundstrom SR 100 Coronavirus Guidance for disinfection
  3. ISO 16975-3 6.5.5- REFERS TO MANUFACTURERS SPECIFICATION FOR DISINFECTING
  4. AS/NZS 1715:2009 S 9.2- REFER TO MANUFACTURERS SPECIFICATION FOR DISINFECTION

 

 

 

Procedure for disinfecting probes between use when fit testing

 

 

Due to an increase risk of respiratory related illnesses/viruses we have implemented the following procedure for disinfecting probes when fit testing.

The probe is used to measure inward leakage and is usually located close to the mouth, so care must be taken to adequately disinfect probe each time testing is undertaken.

 

Equipment and Materials:

  • Bucket 1- 70% Alcohol/Water Mix (3L)
  • Bucket 2- Water Soap Mixture (Dishwashing Liquid) (5L)
  • Bucket 3- Water (3L)
  • Water Container (to hold water when no tap exists)
  • Kleenbreak
  • Isopropyl alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol- Isocol)
  • Isopropyl alcohol (Diggers)
  • Alcohol Wipes (Allen’s)

 

Directions:

  1. Prepare and fill each Bucket with mix and let sit
  2. Once probe has been used worker is to spray probe with IPA (Diggers) and let sit for 5 minutes
  3. Probe is to be placed in Bucket 1 and left for at least 5 minutes to disinfect.
  4. Probe is to be removed and then washed a second time in Bucket 2.
  5. Respirator is then washed a third time in Bucket 3.
  6. Probe is left to dry, and another disinfected probe used- mulitple probes will be available so that testing can be conducted continuously 
  7. Prior to reuse or fit testing operator is to then wipe down twice with Isopropyl alcohol wipes (99.9% efficient against bacteria)
  8. Buckets and contents are to be discarded at regular intervals
  9. Use Kleenbreak on buckets post cleaning

 

Guidance and Justification:

  1. 3M fit test hygiene guidance during Covid 19
  2. Application of PPE duirng Covid 19- NSW Government

 

 

Disinfection of PortaCount/ Laptop

 

Equipment and Materials:

  • Alcohol Wipes (Allen’s)
  • Paper Towels

 

Directions:

  1. Operator is to wipe down PortaCount between each fit test- this will include a wipe down of the twin tubes and the body of the PortaCount
  2. Surfaces that have been used during fit testing shall also be wiped down

 

 

 

Risks of exhaled air from previous worker fit test

 

There is a common misconception that exhaled air in the PortaCount twin tubes can be inhaled by the worker being fit tested. This has been debunked here.

 

 

 

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