- Science of Safety Podcast
This is a great summary – including the reason why we are where we are with our Regulator and the Plan going forward.
Click HERE to listen.
- Podcast on Occupational Hygiene
The following link was broadcast on ABC radio recently. Two of the presenters are linked to the ECU:
- Dr Barry Cheeson (Adjunct Associate Professor with ECU and on the OHS consult committee)
- Dr Julia Norris (on the ECU OHS Consult Committee and. BOHS External Examiner).
- Click HERE to listen.
Commit2Fit Training and Accreditation Respirator Fit Tester Scheme (NZ)
Why Commit2Fit was developed
New Zealand Occupational Hygiene Society (NZOHS) was encouraged by people working in the health and safety sector (Occupational Hygienists, Occupational Health Nurses, Occupational Doctors, Health and Safety Specialists), Businesses (including Healthcare, Construction, Manufacturing) and Government (WorkSafe NZ) to develop a respiratory protective equipment fit test providers competency scheme.
The aim: To increase the number of fit testers and to ensure a minimum level of competency is achieved so fit testing is correct and reliable.
What is Commit2Fit based on
Commit2Fit is not a new concept, similar schemes exist in the UK (Fit2Fit) and Australia (RESP-FIT). NZOHS bases the training on existing global fit testing protocols from OSHA 1910.134 (Fit Testing Procedures), ISO 16975-3 (Part 3: Fit-testing procedures) and HSE INDG479 (Guidance on respiratory protective equipment (RPE) fit testing). The AS/NZS 1715:2009 (Selection, use and maintenance of respiratory protective equipment) provides the framework for respiratory protection programmes and fit tester training that is the basis for Commit2Fit. The assessment of fit tester competency is based on ISO 16975-3 criteria and syllabus material from other fit tester competency schemes.
Requirements of Commit2Fit Scheme
Participants attend on-line training, complete self-directed learning, participate in an interactive online workshop, undertake an on-line theory test and sit a practical assessment. For candidates that have never done fit testing prior to the course; there is a requirement to gain “experience” in their own time prior to completing the final practical assessment. Commit2Fit can connect candidates with mentors during the process; but the expectation is for the candidate to practice and gain experience in order to demonstrate “competency” during the final practical assessment.
Commit2Fit Competent RPE Fit Tester Register
All those who pass the scheme become competent fit testers and are added to the NZOHS RPE Fit Test Provider register. Individuals can then be approached directly by workplaces to conduct fit testing for tight fitting respirators.
Please see the below training outline to give you an idea of the course framework.
You can contact NZOHS via email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a query in regards to COVID-19 at your workplace.
Potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2 could occur in many work environments. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a new virus that causes COVID-19.
Given that the hazard (SARS-CoV-2) cannot be eliminated at this time, the current measures to isolate and provide engineering controls (e.g., ventilation) are crucial. The avenues around ensuring isolation in New Zealand will help to minimise risk and NZOHS support the implementation of these controls. The “last resort” control is use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to further minimise risk.
As Occupational Hygienists we can help workplaces to undertake risk assessments for this biological hazard: SARS-CoV-2 and work with PCBUs in order to eliminate the risk of exposure if possible; or minimize the exposure to an acceptable level.
You can email us to get in contact with an Occupational Hygienist. Note: depending on the query and the time involved; there will be a consultant fee associated. That will be for an Occupational Hygienist to discuss with you prior to engaging him/her for the work.
- NZOHS in association with HASANZ and WorkSafe – held a Webinar (28th May 2020) on Counterfeit Respirators.
The Presentation can be viewed HERE.
Presenter: Miriska Gerber (NZOHS) and Panel members: Lucre Pfefferman (NZOHS) and Al Threlfall (WorkSafe).
- Click HERE to download the NZOHS “Checklist to ensure your respirator will protect you” flyer as a PDF file.
- Click HERE to view the NZOHS interim discussion document – An Occupational Hygiene Perspective – COVID-19 Risks and Respiratory Protection.
- Introductory webinar – The When, Why and What of Fit Testing by Levi Mines, Occupational Hygienist at NZ Refinery (Marsden Point).
Chaired by Suzanne Broadbent COH, President NZOHS.
Further training is required to become a competent fit tester (see Commit-2-Fit Training series).
NOTE: This presentation is not for re-use, resale or distribution and must not be edited.
– Webinar may take a few seconds to load to the screen – please be patient.
COVID-19 has brought about an increasing focus on respiratory protection. As part of this fit testing has become a priority – in the health sector, emergency response, essential businesses and businesses potential returning to operation post Alert Level 4. NZOHS has developed a training programme for Respirator Fit Testers – this is currently a four stage programme – (a) Webinar – Respirator Protection and Fit Testing – why, options, how; (b) online learning resources and questionnaire; (c) interactive, practical online training session (numbers restricted/dates to be advised); (d) competency assessment (options, numbers restricted/dates to be advised).
The dates for the two final sessions are dependent on number of registrations, availability of gear (having access to fit test kit yourself is helpful, but not a requirement), and Governmental requirements under COVID-19 Alert level.
Registrations have closed (24th April 2020) – however, we will be opening another opportunity for fit tester training in the next 2-3 weeks. Please email if you are interested email@example.com. Those already registered will be contacted within the next 24 hours to confirm remaining training programme. The webinar held on 20th April 2020 will be available online on the NZOHS website.
Please see below links:
The following video provides some more clarity around the use and effectiveness of respirators in relation to the prevention of COVID-19: https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/1833770O/filtering-of-bioaerosols-by-filtering-facepiece-respirators.mp4
Ministry of Health Link:
NZ Government Unite Against COVID-19 Link: https://covid19.govt.nz/
World Health Organization WHO Health Workers Link:
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Information for Healthcare Professionals Link:
CDC Resources for Business and Employers Link:
WorkSafe – Managing supply issues for PPE
Respirable Crystalline Silica