Why is Face Fit Testing required?
Respiratory protective equipment (RPE) requires face fit testing because it is only useful if it does not leak. One of the main reasons that they do is because they do not fit the wearer correctly. Because everybody’s face is different, it is unlikely that one type of RPE will suit everyone that wears it. The test ensures that the RPE fits, and therefore doesn’t leak and consequently provides sufficient 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. Also, if a person uses more than one type, then they will require a test for all the styles that they use.
How do I choose a Tester?
You must 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 testing providers. Synergy Environmental Solutions can supply qualified and competent testers to undertake your work.
What does the face fit test involve?
Qualitative face fit testing involves checking the seal of the mask during a series of seven exercises. During each activity, we use a sweet or a bitter substance to challenge it. The employee must state whether they can taste it. The result of each test gives a pass or fail result. If any of the tests fail, then the whole test fails.
All tight-fitting masks rely on a good seal with the skin. If the seal 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
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