Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) Course

Respiratory Protective Equipment Training

Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) Course

HSG 53

Respiratory protective equipment course. One aspect of the use of RPE that is often overlooked is training, are your staff who are involved in the selection, use & maintenance of Respiratory Protective Equipment trained?

The HSE document HSG 53 “Respiratory Protective Equipment at Work” states that:

“All people involved in the selection, use, storage and maintenance (if required) of RPE require training”.

So, the risk assessment process has highlighted a need for RPE in the workplace, you have taken all reasonably practicable steps to reduce the risks before taking the decision to use a mask.

Mask and filter

Now you must decide what mask and filter combination you require, RPE by law must be adequate & suitable.

For RPE to be adequate it must be capable of protecting the wearer from the hazard or hazards that are present.

To be suitable RPE must be adequate but it must be suitable for the task that is undertaken, the environment it is used in and for the person wearing it i.e. it must fit (the only way to be sure of this is a face fit test) and must be comfortable for the wearer.

The person selecting the RPE must be trained and competent to do so we often encounter the problem of incorrect RPE being used for protection in the workplace resulting in the wearer receiving little or no protection at all.

mask wearer

The person wearing the mask requires training and the responsibility for providing this is the employers.

As part of our face fit testing service we offer to do this for you before the face fit testing begins but often this part of our service is declined, so have you trained your RPE users and can you prove it? If not, then our Respiratory Protective Equipment Course is for you.


Maintenance is a requirement for all RPE, except for disposable (single use) RPE, and should be carried out by properly trained personnel.

Thorough maintenance, examination and tests should be carried out at least once a month.

However, if the RPE is used only occasionally, an examination and test should be carried out before use and, in any event, the interval should not exceed three months.

rpe training

So, as you can see, training forms a vital part of your use of respiratory protective equipment, the selection of the RPE needs to be carried out by a trained and competent person.

RPE should only ever be worn by people who have been trained to wear it and that includes the wearers of disposable masks.

Maintenance is a requirement for all reusable masks including PAPR’s (Powered Air Purifying Respirators, powered hoods etc.) and must be conducted by trained and competent people. Our RPE training course is a half day course which will show you how to select, use & maintain RPE and make sure that you are making the right choices and comply with the law.

Respiratory Protective Equipment course content

  • Why RPE is needed.
  • The hazards, risks and effects of exposure.
  • What RPE is being provided.
  • How RPE works.
  • Why fit testing is required (if relevant).
  • How to wear and check the RPE correctly.
  • Fit checking before use.
  • What maintenance is required and when.
  • Where and how it should be cleaned and stored.
  • How to report/tackle any problems.
  • Employee and employer responsibilities.
  • Use and misuse of RPE.

For further information about our Respiratory Protective Equipment Course please contact us.

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