Your respiratory safety on the job depends on you wearing a properly functioning and fitting respirator. Tell your supervisor if your respirator interferes with your ability to see, hear or be heard properly, if it restricts movement so that you can’t safely do your job, or if it has any damaged or worn parts.
Perform these tests each time you use your respirator. Enter your work area only if your respirator passes the tests. Some employers provide a test atmosphere of banana oil or irritating smoke that you’ll detect if your mask is leaking.
Cover the exhalation valve so that air can’t escape through it; then exhale gently. The mask will bulge and you should feel increased air pressure until you inhale or uncover the valve. This means that no air is escaping the mask.
Cover the air intake ports of the respirator with your palms and inhale. Not only should it be difficult to inhale, but the soft parts of the respirator should collapse inward toward your face and remain that way as long as you’re inhaling. This means that no air is getting into the mask from the edges. If you feel air coming in, and the mask regains its shape, there’s a leak that must be corrected before you use the respirator.