Chemicals, particulate dust, or reduced oxygen in the air causes health hazards for workers. As an employer, it’s your job to eliminate exposure to these hazards if possible. Ensuring your people are wearing their protective equipment is simply not good enough. To truly protect them requires evaluating their lung function with a pulmonary function test (PFT) and the effectiveness of their protective equipment. Our respiratory testing services exceed regulations because we’re committed to doing it right. As with all of our occupational health testing, our respiratory testing services were developed and are carried out by some of the most knowledgeable experts in the industry—so you can rely on the results. Customizable to meet your needs wherever you’re working in Canada, these services have been designed to protect employer and employee rights, ensuring that employees don’t lose employment unfairly and that employers can defend decisions when required.
A pulmonary function test (PFT) or spirometry measures how well the lungs take in and release air and move gases such as oxygen from the atmosphere into the body. The PFT can be used to assess the effects of toxic substances such as isocyanides on the lungs, check the suitability of wearing self-contained breathing equipment, and assess whether people are fit to occupy strenuous positions, among other things. The PFT is common in ongoing exposure surveillance programs. Our PFT includes:
A trained technician then conducts a spirometry test to assess actual lung function. The technical equipment measures total lung volume and expiration velocity (volume over time). The PFT is repeated at least three times to ensure the results are reliable.
Mask fit testing assesses the degree of protection or seal of a given mask size according to the acceptable standards set out by the manufacturer. The mask fit test ensures the personal protective equipment often mandated by legislative requirements fits well enough to do its job and protect the worker from hazardous exposure. The mask fit test consists of measuring the seal of the mask during various breathing rates, head positions, and body positions as well as during speech. Your authorized representative will receive a secure and confidential report of all mask fit testing results. To ensure results are reliable, we check our equipment daily and hold our technicians to the highest standards.
Employers are obligated to ensure their people are medically cleared to wear a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). This clearance is important because the environments these devices are used in are typically very physically and physiologically strenuous. Obtaining emergency assistance in these conditions poses even more challenges. With such risks, it is critical to be certain the people you’re sending into these environments are cleared to do so medically. We understand the stakes when sending a person into such a hazardous environment, and our goal is to ensure due diligence is taken before doing so. Our SCBA certificates are not issued without sufficient evidence of medical clearance. SCBA certification requires a pulmonary function test and medical fitness exam; health questionnaires do not meet the high standards of our physician group.
Respiratory testing can help employees protect themselves and identify health problems early. For example, identifying limited lung function early makes it possible to diagnose or manage asthma, detect and distinguish lung disease, and assess impairment due to occupational exposure.
Employers must ensure that employees have access to the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when exposed to potential harmful substances (CSA Standard Z94.4-02). Federal and provincial designated substances vary, as do each province’s/territory’s legislated testing requirements. Learn more about respiratory testing and the requirements where you operate.