Why is Face Fit Testing required?

Respiratory protective equipment (RPE) requires Face fit testing because it is only effective if it does not leak. One of the main reasons that masks leak is because they do not fit the wearers properly. Because everybody’s face is different, it is unlikely that one type of RPE will fit everyone that wears it. The test ensures that the RPE fits, and therefore doesn’t leak and consequently provides effective protection to the wearer.

Who needs testing?

The COSHH Regulations require face fit testing for everyone that uses tight fitting RPE. This applies to both reusable and disposable masks. In addition, if a person uses more than one mask, then they will require a test for all the masks that they use.

Face Fit Testing - a selection of masks that would require the test

How do I choose a tester?

It is important that you choose a competent person. The best way to ensure this competency is to make sure that the person undertaking the test is certified to do so. The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) and the HSE have set up a scheme to certify face fit testing providers. Synergy Environmental Solutions can supply qualified and competent testers to undertake your work.

What does the Qualitative Test involve?

Qualitative face fit testing involves testing the fit of the mask during a series of seven exercises. During each exercise, we use a sweet or a bitter substance to challenge the mask. The employee must state whether they can taste the substance. The result of each test gives a pass or fail result. If the result of any of the tests fails, then the whole test fails.

Facial Hair

All tight-fitting masks rely on a good seal with the skin. If the seal with the skin is not tight, then the contaminated air will pass through the gap and the user will breathe it in. Beards make it impossible to get this seal between the mask and the skin and the face fit testing will fail.

Further Information is available below

Fit2Fit organization
HSE Fit Testing Basics
Fit Testing of Respiratory Protective Equipment

Did you know that Synergy also provides workplace air monitoring, LEV testing, and compressed air quality testing?

Call or email us today about face fit testing. We are here to help!
01782 614236 or info@synergy-environmental.co.uk