What is Face Fit Testing?
Fit Testing is a method for checking that a tight fitting facepiece matches an individual’s facial features and can provide the correct seal to the wearer’s face to keep them healthy and safe in the workplace.
Why do I need to Face Fit test?
Wherever respiratory protective equipment is used, it must fit effectively to make sure that it is providing maximum protection for wearer. To do this it must be leak proof – a major cause of leaks is poor fit. Tight-fitting face pieces need to fit the wearer’s face to be effective.
As people come in all shapes and sizes it is unlikely that one particular type or size of RPE facepiece will fit everyone, therefore face fit testing will ensure that the equipment selected is suitable for the wearer.
How do we do it?
We undertake what is known as Qualitative Face Fit Testing, which is undertaken using a hood and a non-toxic test agent.
During a set of verbal and physical exercises, we will check your sense of taste to detect any leakage that may occur while wearing their mask. The test will allow us to assess if your RPE is fitting correctly.
What do I need to know before the test?
• If you are a smoker you will not be allowed to smoke for at least one and a half hours prior to the test, as the sensitive equipment may detect particulate in exhaled breath which may result in a false failure.
• We will not be able to conduct the test if you have any facial hair growth in the area where the respirator face piece seal meets your face. This is because a reliable face seal can only be achieved if you are clean-shaven in the area where the face piece seal touches your face. You will therefore be asked to present clean-shaven (in the area where the face piece seal meets your face) for the fit test. You should remember that the same rule applies when you wear your respirator face piece on a day-to-day basis at work.
• Whilst the tests are not physically demanding, it will be assumed that, by attending the Face Fit session you are sufficiently healthy to be tested and wear masks as required in your work. Medical suitability to work will be considered to be confirmed by the employing company prior to sending delegates to the test sessions.
• Anyone with medical conditions such as severe asthma, bronchitis or heart disorders may wish to discuss with their doctor prior to attending a test.