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Q: Why should you carry out Face Fit Tests?

A: Face fit tests are a legal requirement where Respiratory Protective Equipment is used http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/internalops/ocs/200-299/282_28.pdf

Also, many sites will require your staff to have a Face Fit Test Certificate before they are permitted to start work there. Here at Comply at Work, we offer both quantitative and qualitative face fit testing services.

Where RPE (Respiratory Protective Equipment) is used, it must be able to provide adequate protection for individual wearers - RPE can't protect the wearer if it leaks!

A major cause of leaks is poor fit. Tight-fitting face pieces (such as a dust mask) must fit the wearer’s face to be effective. As people come in all sorts of shapes and sizes it is unlikely that one particular type or size of RPE facepiece will fit everyone. Face fit tests will ensure that the respirator selected is suitable for the wearer.

The best time to do Face Fit Testing is at the initial RPE selection stage, when individual users can be given a choice of adequate models of RPE. You should ensure that the make, model, type and size of facepiece that they wore when they had their successful face fit test is made available for their use. If an employee wears more than one type of tight-fitting facepiece, then each type of facepiece should be fit tested.

Qualitative Face Fit Testing

As stated in HSE OC 282/28 - Qualitative face fit testing is a simple pass/fail test based on the wearer’s subjective assessment of the leakage, via the face seal region, of a test agent. The qualitative fit testing method we use is based on a bitter tasting aerosol.

These tests are relatively simple to perform and are suitable for half masks and filtering face-pieces (FFP). They are not suitable for full face masks.

Quantitative Face Fit Testing

As stated in HSE OC 282/28 - Quantitative face fit testing provides a numerical measure of the fit that is called a fit factor. These tests give an objective measure of face fit. They require specialised equipment and are more complicated to carry out than qualitative methods.

Quantitative methods are required for full face masks and can also be used for half masks and FFP (disposable face masks). The method of quantitative fit testing we use is carried out by a BSIF fit2fit accredited technician and uses a portable particle counting device called the TSI Portacount.

Train the Tester

We also offer a “Train the Tester” course. This is a three-hour course that will enable the delegate to carry out ‘Taste Test’ Qualitative testing for your company in house/on site. Full certification is provided to confirm that successful delegates are competent to carry out Qualitative Face Fit Tests. Test kits can then be purchased from reputable suppliers which may save you money in the long term.

Refreshments are provided and a Face Fit Certificate / Certificates of Attendance will be issued.

Contact us now info@complyatwork.co.uk or tel 01204 772977 for more information, prices and availability.

Ensure your staff are tested. It's a legal requirement.