Face Fit Testing
Face Fit Testing ensures that RPE (Respiratory Protective Equipment) fits closely enough to function correctly. If RPE does not fit adequately it can make the difference between safe working or contracting an occupational illness or infection.
Face Fit Testing needs to be carried out in accordance with the HSE’s publication ‘HSG53 – Respiratory Protective Equipment at Work’ – It applies to tight-fitting RPE (such as full and half-face masks) and is not required for loose-fitting RPE such as powered respirators.
All tight fitting RPE should be tested before work is carried out. If there is any change in the RPE used or the facial characteristics of the user (such as weight loss, scars, facial surgery or any other factors which may influence the closeness of the fit) re-testing will be required.
Lighthouse can provide Face Fit testing for your employees. Our consultants are trained in delivering qualitative Face Fit Testing, which is suitable for half-face masks. It involves the use of a test agent, which is sprayed into a hood, worn by the operative whilst wearing the RPE. It uses the operative’s sense of smell to detect whether or not the mask is working correctly.
Preparations before the test
To ensure that the testing is safe and accurate, there are a number of specific requirements which attendees must meet. Failure to do so, could result in us refusing to carry out a test. Facial hair can have a significant effect on the performance of RPE. We provide specific guidance on this and there are further requirements you need to adhere to in the hours leading up to the test. You can see the full requirements here.