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Definition - What does Donning mean?

Donning, in the context of respirator fitting, is a process of wearing a face mask placed over the head that covers the mouth and nose to filter out or protect the mucus membranes from harmful agents. A user seal check is measured subjectively by the wearer while donning the equipment to ensure the facepiece is free of air leaks between use(s).

SureHire explains Donning

The user seal check follows a protocol based on the type of respirator used. A positive and negative seal check draws on how taut the facepiece material fits against the skin while the wearer is donning the respirator. Disposable or, N-95/dust masks are a type of respirator that feature adjustable straps fitted over the head with a facepiece that braces the nose and mouth. When a wearer is donning this type of respirator, pressure changes reflect any air displacement between the face and the face seal as the subject breathes. A half-mask with a filter/cartridge unit(s) features a harness/strap(s) assembly that requires the wearer to simulate breaths while donning the equipment. This method ensures the valve outlets and cartridge/filter unit(s) have a tight seal to prevent exposure to airborne contaminants.

Facial hair is an issue that can cause a loose seal around the facepiece while donning a respirator. An employer's health and safety policy should cover donning techniques for the type of respirator used to achieve a proper seal.

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