The Need for Fit Testing During Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreaks

Proper respirator use is essential for healthcare workers who are expected to interact with patients with infectious respiratory diseases. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires healthcare facilities to maintain a respiratory protection program that specifies requirements such as annual fit testing, medical clearance, and training. Initial fit testing is required before using a respirator. In addition to annual fit testing, fit testing is required when there are changes in an employee’s physical condition that could affect respirator fit and when a worker must wear a new model or type of tight-fitting respirator, such as the common N95 filtering