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  1. #21
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    More about contacts:
    See IFSTA Essentials 4th Ed. p .93

    OSHA says that soft contacts have no direct or immediate relationship
    to employee safety or health.

    I love my contacts, I dont have any problems with them. I use the soft Acuvue2.

    About Masks:

    We dont issue personal masks. Reasoning...we can't afford to equip all personnel. Everyone of our guys fit tested for Medium (Standard,Large whatever it is considered). We have one guy who has the glasses insert and he has his own mask for the simple fact that it will take him 30 seconds longer to pop the glasses in. Since the glasses are popped in the mask all the time, he has no delay.
    Last edited by cmjones; 09-11-2003 at 03:55 PM.


  2. #22
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    I use the military glasses kit without any problem. Arkansas is not an OSHA state... so I guess I should be good.

    The question I have about getting a kit for the mask is this... My department runs with both MSA *and* Survivair packs. Do to a variety of circumstances, I'm not guaranteed to use one or the other all of the time. Wouldn't I have to have two seperate mask inserts?

    Also, fit testing? What's that. In both departments I've been a member of... They've had one size fits all. It's been promised that when we finally get rid of all of our MSA, we'll have a personal mask. However... we're a long way from that day.

  3. #23
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Originally posted by cozmosis
    ...fit testing? What's that. In both departments I've been a member of... They've had one size fits all.
    I am assuming your not being sarcastic, so I'll give you the quick and dirty on Fit Testing. Fit Testing is an NFPA and OSHA/WCB requirement that should basically confirm that your mask actually works as intended on your particular face.

    You should first have your masks tested professionally (on a fancy testing unit that I can't remember the name of) to ensure they don't have any leaks. It looks like a manniquin head with pumps built into it.

    Once you are satified the mask is good, the fit test is generally done by inserting a charcoal filter into the regulator hole on your mask (using a special adapter), and then while you wear the mask and breath normally, the tester passes an odourant capsule or smoke stick around the mask to see if you can smell it. If you can, you don't have a good seal. Some people cannot wear certain types of masks just because of the shape of their face, and fit testing is the only way to be sure a particular mask will work for you. My two cents is to try moving around in the mask during your test as well. Some people keep a seal while standing still, but as soon as they turn their head, they lose it.

    It is important that you don't try to fit test with tank air flowing, or your results will be corrupted by the positive pressure blowing the odourant out. If you use the charcoal filter, you are creating a suction inside your mask, and will draw the odourant in through any leaks.

    We use Drager, and we have both the old NOVA masks, and some new PANORAMA masks. Some people get a better fit on the old ones, and some on the new ones. Newer masks generally fit differently than similar worked in units as well. You just have to try and see.

    I'm sure one of the other guys around here can fill in anything I missed.
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  4. #24
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    I have used the Scott vision inserts for a number of years with no problem. I keep them in the radio pocket of my coat where they fit quite nicely.It takes me no longer than 5 sec to fit them into the face-piece. Remember to have a hard case to put your regular glasses in though when you take them off,because they can get lost or take a beating otherwise if you shove them in a pocket.

  5. #25
    MembersZone Subscriber jaybird210's Avatar
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    The Federal OSHA Standard is 26 CFR 1910.134

    It is very specific, as FWDbuff managed to quote a small chunk, and lays out the rules for respiratory protection. It describes how fit testing will take place.

    What mcaldwell has described is qualitative fit testing. It is done with the mask only (no air). You have to generate negative presure inside the mask to ensure there are no leaks. There is a series of OSHA specified excersizes that you must do during the test.

    The other, more reliable (and hence, more expensive) method is called a quanitative fit test, where an adaptor is inserted onto the mask (in place of the regulator) and this is connected to a machine that measures particles in the mask. The excersizes are the same (they are, breathing, talking, moving your head around, talking, and bending over... we are all good at that last one. Lotsa practice).

    Arkansas is not an OSHA state... so I guess I should be good.
    No, you are not good. If Arkansas is not an OSHA state, then that means that your state MUST have an OSHA-equivalent agency that enforces OSHA rules. Illinois is not an OSHA state either, but we have the IL Department of Labor. They adopt OSHA rules to the letter, or make them more stringent. Why? They HAVE to, by federal law.

    Your department MUST do fit testing.
    Your department MUST provide each firefighter who is SCBA qualified a mask that fit thems according to a fit test.
    Your department MUST medically evaluate each member to make sure they are physically able to wear a pack.
    Your department MUST have a respiratory protection program in place.
    This is the federal law. There is no getting around it.
    There are thousands of departments that do not comply. Until two years ago, mine was one of them. Then IDOL came a-calling. Guess what? We now have a respiratory protection program in place. Everyone gets fit tested. Everyone has access to a mask that fits them. It cost us some money, but nothing next to the fines they could've levied.

    Two more thoughts on this:
    1) It really only cost us about $300 to comply with the law. That was the cost for a qualitative fit test kit (the one that uses the stinky stuff. If you can smell this, try another mask). Then we had to write a bunch of rules. And keep a bunch of paperwork. Compliance is not that tough.
    2) I posted earlier that everyone on my department has their own mask. While this is certainly the ideal, we only had twenty-five people SCBA qualified, and we already had 10 masks. So we bought 15 (at $280 /each). FIRE Act grant. If your department had 60 members, and you only had 15 masks, that's a helluva lot more money. You don't have to do this. If you can get enough masks of the proper size, you are good to go. There is no such thing as a "one-size-fits-all" SCBA mask. {edit: What bones posted his department does is a perfectly acceptable method. as long as you have been fit tested and your department makes a mask of that size available to you for your use....}

    P.S. The IDOL inspector pointed out to me that failure to comply could result in fines (she was also quick to point out that they don't fine FDs unless it is a grossly negligent, intentional violation). Those fines, in IL, were $1,000 per day, per EMPLOYEE, since the violation began! Ooof. There goes my raise.
    Last edited by jaybird210; 09-12-2003 at 09:04 AM.
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  6. #26
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Talking OSHA STATES.....................

    There are some states where OSHA doesn't apply. They're in Mexico........ Stay Safe....
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  7. #27
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    Default Re: OSHA STATES.....................

    Originally posted by hwoods
    There are some states where OSHA doesn't apply. They're in Mexico........ Stay Safe....
    Oh yeah, so how are those plans for the Mexican Fire Dept coming along Hwoods? Winter's coming, and I could go for a little south of the border (x2) internship about January.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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  8. #28
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    I'm a late comer to this conversation, however as both a civilian FF and an Army Geek working with the Navy (or is that Never Again Volunteer Yourself?), I also have the milspec "Dork Glasses". The prescription is about 10yrs old, but good enough to see with, if I needed too. However except in armed combat, I have found I can see well enough without them, when I need to.

    On a side note, my dept has purchased the spectacle kit for our BA's but its at my cost (for the first run) to purchase the lenses for them. At almost $100.00 for lenses, for the time being anyway, I am content to work as I have for the navy... without them. Other than finding the fire because of the Big Red Glow, for the type of work that I have been required to do, I find that clear sight is not really needed - I need them to drive with, but I don't drive with a BA on and can see well enough otherwise.
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  9. #29
    Forum Member firefighter26's Avatar
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    The kit itself was a bargan at under $20.00, but like two-7 says, having the lenses made for them is a lot more $$$ (I was looking at alternative ways of cutting the costs, but it was placed on the back burner for other projects... there never seems to be enough time to get all of them done...)
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  10. #30
    MembersZone Subscriber AFD368's Avatar
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    Default Lenses Costs

    I had my prescription lenses put in my inserts for $60.00.

    I wear bifocals, but only had single vision lenses put in the inserts.

    I also had them done when I get my new glasses and prescription sunglasses, which cost me $480, so maybe they felt sorry for me at LensCrafters.
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  11. #31
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Default ??? HUH ??

    Once again.....I inquire......Why in the world would you buy something out of your pocket that your department is (by LAW!) required to provide?????

  12. #32
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    Cool

    The scott insert works very good I have one that I use. The department paid for them

  13. #33
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    Keep it simple. I wear soft contacts. I have been on the job 6 years and haven't had a problem yet due to heat or any or the urban legends.

    NFPA 1500- states that the use of soft contacts is acceptable. Ifsta 4th addition. I did my home work on this issue, so it wouldn't comeback to haunt me if i was injured. They also make day and night contacts, so you can sleep in them.

    Good luck

  14. #34
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    I keep reading about regulations??

    Your departments all have their own sop's, guidelines, practical applications and standards.

    Don't preach your departments regulations to others if they don't apply. False information can screw someones career. I can talk about retirement issues, but who else has 3%@50 ? Many don't so why give you advice.

    Read your own departments sop's and standards. Also cross referance NFPA 1500 and OSHA regs. It's your career and safety, so do research and take advice with a grain of salt. If you are injured due to contacts, what are you going to tell your city manager? Uh a guy on firehouse. com said it's ok!

    I haven't had a problem with contacts and it clearly states in NFPA that if you have worn contacts for 6 months with no problems it is ok to use them with the scba. But still check out what your dept. says!

    Good luck and sorry for the soap box, but watch your back when it comes to your career and your personal safety!

  15. #35
    Forum Member Jesika's Avatar
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    Default Contact regulations

    Having three members of my family as instructors here in Michigan, I get a lot of info. The only regulation currently put out through NFPA requires that the user of the mask must have worn contact lenses for a year prior without any problems or difficulties. You do not need to prove it. If you have worn contact lense with no problems you may wear them while using an SCBA.
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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff
    Once again.....I inquire......Why in the world would you buy something out of your pocket that your department is (by LAW!) required to provide?????
    FWDbuff... I see that you're stating the employer is required by law to provide the mask obviously... but where precisely are you interpreting they are required to provide the corrective lenses?

    I am asking because I am unable to find exactly where that is stated, and I have an employee I'm representing going through this exact predicament,

    Thanks,

    Scott

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