What is a face fit test

What is a face fit test

What is a face fit test

What is a face fit test?

A face fit test is a method of checking that a tight-fitting facepiece or mask matches the wearer’s facial features and seals adequately to their face. It will also help to identify unsuitable facepieces that should not be used.

How do you conduct a face fit test?

We conduct 2 types of face fit testing – qualitative and quantitative. The qualitative face fit test is a taste test. A strong-tasting agent is sprayed into a hood worn over the test subject’s head. This test method uses bitter solution (Bitrex) there is also a sweet solution for the small percentage of people who cannot taste Bitrex. The quantitative face fit test involves the candidate wearing a respirator of the make, model and size that they are to use in the workplace. The respirator is connected to a test machine that counts the particulate in the test room and the particulate within the respirator and calculates, from this information, a fit-factor.

How often do you need a test?

Most occupations don’t have a specified time limit before another test is required. However in line with current legislation we recommend that a fit test is carried out when there are changes in RPE, PPE, significant weight fluctuations in staff members, facial injuries, major dental work etc. and you must consider the ageing process. Fit2fit recommend that fit testing should be conducted at least every 2 years.

Who should be tested?

Anyone who wears a tight fitting facepiece, mask or respirator. It is a legal requirement that workers using tight fitting respiratory protective equipment (face pieces/masks) must be fit tested by a competent person. This requirement is detailed in CoSHH regulations. No matter how long you are due to wear the mask for, if you wear a respirator for work purposes it needs to be face fit tested. The Health and Safety Executive state that the respirator should be tested by a competent person. In INDG479 it states competence can be demonstrated by accreditation under the Fit2Fit RPE Fit Test Providers Accreditation Scheme.

What masks need face fit testing?

Any tight fitting facepiece/mask requires a test. This includes disposable, reusable half face, reusable full face. If you were a PAPR – powered air purifying respirator this does not require a face fit test. PAPR’s do not rely on a tight seal and therefore are not subject to face fit testing. The face fit test method required is determined by the type of mask in use. Our simple guide below will help.

Our preferred test type is quantitative. When quoting for tests we base it on quantitative unless the customer advises us differently.

Book face fit tests

For more help and information on this service please contact our team who will be happy to help with all your requirements. Our team are fit2fit accredited and cover the whole of mainland UK. Testing is conducted on your site/premises. Contact us today for further details.

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