What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath. The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene can prevent infection. The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is by washing your hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching your face.
On 11 March 2020 the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic, and the emergency has continued to escalate.
Personal Protective Equipment
The use of personal protective equipment, such as respirators, can help protect the health and safety of individuals by reducing the risk of transmitting infectious disease, such as COVID-19. The current health emergency has seen a focus on the use of respiratory masks, however, in order for these masks to be effective it is vital they are fitted correctly.
Respirator Fit Testing
Respirator fit testing is undertaken to ensure the respiratory protective equipment (RPE) has a proper fit to the face, enabling an effective seal from harmful contaminants in the air, including infectious agents.
A fit test should be carried out by qualified personnel before people wear RPE for the first time (AS/NZS 1715:2009). An inappropriate fit can reduce the protection provided and leave workers exposed to unsafe airborne contaminants.
GCG recommends quantitative fit testing, which provides results that are more accurate, objective and suitable for all half-face respirators and full-face respirators. Respirator Fit Testing will be undertaken using the Portacount Respirator Fit Testing unit. This unit allows for quantitative fit testing to be undertaken on various types of respirators.
Prior to testing, employees will be taken through training inclusive of respirator use, donning, fit check, cleaning, storage and disposal. Once the fit test has been performed, GCG will issue a fit-test record for future verification.
Note: People who have symptoms of COVID-19 or are isolating in accordance with COVID-19 government guidance should not attend a face-to-face fit test.
To minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 during face-fit testing, GCG has implemented the following control measures:
- Fit testers and those being fit tested to wash and/and sanitise their hands before and after the test in accordance with Department of Health recommendations
- Those being fit tested with non-disposable masks to clean the mask themselves before and immediately after the test using a suitable disinfectant cleaning wipe (check with manufacturer to avoid damaging the mask)
- All items used in the process of testing (including tubes, desk etc) are thoroughly disinfected before and after each fit test
- Test facepieces that cannot be adequately disinfected (e.g. disposable half masks) will not be used by more than one individual
- Fit testers to wear disposable latex gloves during fit testing, and gloves are to be removed using recommended methods of disposal
- Immediate disposal of used gloves, disposable masks, cleaning wipes etc in a waste bin
- Fit testing will be conducted in space with appropriate ventilation
- All current Australian Government mandated health recommendations implemented, including maintaining 1.5m distance between personnel
Services we provide:
- In-house Respirator Fit Testing (*Online booking system now available for multiple locations across Australia)
- Onsite Respirator Fit Testing (Available for large groups)
Why choose GCG?
From a business perspective, GCG recognises the emphasis to run business operations smoothly to ensure companies benefit from continued operations and profit gain. A lack of both safety and hygiene planning at the workplace can ensue challenges around the workflow and possibly allow long-term health effects at your company. This is why the Consultants at GCG take pride in producing quality yet effective work to ensure clients hold a clear advantage – to commence operations as per usual and to keep the issue contained and/or eliminated. The main part of our job is to figure out the clients’ requirements based on size, scope, location, and budget to fully understand what is expected.
GCG’s hygiene consultants are professionals in the industry who are certified with the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygiene (AIOH).