NZOHS Resources

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.


COVID-19

You can contact NZOHS via email: Covid-19@nzohs.org.nz (or click on the button below) for Covid-19 advice.


  • 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 admin@nzohs.org.nz.  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

https://novel-coronavirus.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/
https://www.elsevier.com/connect/coronavirus-information-center
https://www.nejm.org/coronavirus
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/pages/coronavirus-alert
https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/coronavirus
https://www.thelancet.com/coronavirus

Ministry of Health Link:
https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

NZ Government Unite Against COVID-19 Link: https://covid19.govt.nz/

World Health Organization WHO Health Workers Link:
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/health-workers

3M Link:
https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/worker-health-safety-us/all-stories/full-story-detail/?storyid=8855304f-01cb-4af2-8937-83096cdb4113

CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Information for Healthcare Professionals Link:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/hcp/index.html

CDC Resources for Business and Employers Link:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html

WorkSafe – Managing supply issues for PPE
https://worksafe.govt.nz/managing-health-and-safety/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/managing-supply-issues-for-ppe/


Respirable Crystalline Silica

https://worksafe.govt.nz/about-us/news-and-media/accelerated-silicosis/

https://www.aioh.org.au/resources/aioh-media-release-no-dust-exposure-no-dust-disease-1

https://www.breathefreelyaustralia.org.au/

http://breathefreely.org.uk/

 

NZOHS Resources

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