HEALTH, SAFETY & OCCUPATIONAL HYGIENE

Respiratory Fit Testing

Importance of Respiratory Fit Testing in Melbourne

All Victorian health services in which health care workers (including those working in hotel quarantine across Australia) have the potential to be exposed to respiratory hazards are required to implement a qualitative and quantitative Respiratory Protection Program (RPP).

Where a risk of respiratory hazards, including COVID-19, is identified at a Melbourne workplace, employers must eliminate the risk to the greatest degree possible. 

When it’s not possible to eliminate the risk, it must be controlled so far as is reasonably practicable.This is in line with WorkSafe and DHHS (Victoria) requirements.

respiratory fit testing melbourne

Quantitative & Qualitative Fit Testing For Australian Companies

It is no secret that COVID-19 highlighted the need for more focussed respiratory protection across our community. Whether it’s health care, aged care or in other Melbourne workplaces, a robust control program around this has an important role in keeping us all safe! 

Helia EHS provided

Helia EHS Group is engaged by our clients to assist with their RPP needs.

This is particularly focused on quantitative and qualitative respiratory fit testing and we see the main areas that we currently and competently assist our Australians clients to be the following:

Quantitative and qualitative

  1. Program development/ systems / procedures and assisting with program implementation (including risk assessment of respiratory hazards before a RPP is introduced, infection control, selection of RPE etc.)
  2. Actual (fit) testing
  3. Training people to (fit) test
  4. Validation/auditing of (our clients) established systems and actual (fit) testers.

Respiratory Fit Testing In Melbourne

The following diagram [from the Victorian Respiratory Protection Program Guidelines, DHHS Victoria, September 2020 (Version 1.1)] provides an example of how a prioritization framework for Victorian health services might be designed to consider both the role and setting of a wearer. This may be modified to accommodate local variables.

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ACP – Aerosol generating procedures

AGB – Aerosol generating behavior’s

High risk workers, for the purposes of the DHHS document (referenced above), are defined as:

  • Clinicians who have exposure to patients with infectious respiratory diseases
  • Emergency and first responders e.g. ambulance operational staff any other staff identified as being at high risk of exposure
  • Ancillary staff, e.g. cleaners, who are required to enter a negative pressure room
  • Staff who may have exposure to other respiratory hazards, such as chemical cleaners or disinfectants
  • All other Australian workers (who require both quantitative and qualitative fit testing) should be fit tested as required following the completion of high priority Health Care Workers.

Benefits Of Respiratory Fit Testing In Melbourne

It’s important to note that respiratory hazards extend beyond infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and tuberculosis. They include exposure to certain chemicals, such as disinfectants, surgical smoke and other chemical/biological/radiological hazards.It’s important to note that the use of respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is the last line of defiance in the hierarchy of controls and infection prevention measures, which includes immunisation, isolation, engineering controls, environmental measures, administrative controls, hand hygiene, and lastly PPE including RPE. Helia EHS believes that this is more of an incentive to heed the (Victorian State Government) advice to implement an RPP!Please call Simon Ercole (Certified Occupational Hygienist) on 0418519016 or 8625 9696 (his team) to learn more about qualitative and quantitative fit testing or for further related Melbourne services and advice.

Contact us to get in touch 

Interested in finding out more about Respiratory Fit Testing?

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