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PDFWAC 296-307-62020

Follow procedures established for seal checking respirators.

1. User seal checks are not a substitute for fit tests. See WAC 296-307-62010 for fit test procedures.
2. The employer may use a seal check procedure recommended by the respirator manufacturer instead of the procedure outlined in Table 21 if the employer can demonstrate the procedure is based on a scientific study that, for example, demonstrates the procedure effectively identifies respirators that fit poorly when put on or adjusted.
The employer must make sure employees perform a user seal check as outlined in Table 21, each time the respirator is worn, to make sure the seal is adequate.
Table 21
User Seal Check Procedure
Important information for employees:
• You need to conduct a seal check each time you put your respirator on before you enter the respirator use area. The purpose of a seal check is to make sure your respirator (which has been previously fit tested by your employer) is properly positioned on your face to prevent leakage during use and to detect functional problems
• The procedure below has two parts; a positive pressure check and a negative pressure check. You must complete both parts each time. It should only take a few seconds to perform, once you learn it
– If you cannot pass both parts, your respirator is not functioning properly, see your supervisor for further instruction.
Positive pressure check:
1. Remove exhalation valve cover, if removable.
2. Cover the exhalation valve completely with the palm of your hand while exhaling gently to inflate the facepiece slightly.
3. The respirator facepiece should remain inflated (indicating a build-up of positive pressure and no outward leakage).
• If you detect no leakage, replace the exhalation valve cover (if removed), and proceed to conduct the negative pressure check
• If you detect evidence of leakage, reposition the respirator (after removing and inspecting it), and try the positive pressure check again.
Negative pressure check:
4. Completely cover the inhalation opening(s) on the cartridges or canister with the palm(s) of your hands while inhaling gently to collapse the facepiece slightly.
• If you cannot use the palm(s) of your hands to effectively cover the inhalation openings on cartridges or canisters, you may use:
– Filter seal(s) (if available)
– Thin rubber gloves.
5. Once the facepiece is collapsed, hold your breath for 10 seconds while keeping the inhalation openings covered.
6. The facepiece should remain slightly collapsed (indicating negative pressure and no inward leakage).
• If you detect no evidence of leakage, the tightness of the facepiece is considered adequate, the procedure is completed, and you may now use the respirator
• If you detect leakage, reposition the respirator (after removing and inspecting it) and repeat both the positive and negative fit checks.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.17.010, 49.17.040, 49.17.050, and 49.17.060. WSR 20-21-091, § 296-307-62020, filed 10/20/20, effective 11/20/20; WSR 05-01-166, § 296-307-62020, filed 12/21/04, effective 4/2/05.]
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