Face Fit Testing
Face fit testing is very important to us at 1974Rapport LTD
If your face doesn’t fit....
Call them what you will; respirators, filtering face pieces (FF), dust mask or disposable masks, orinasal masks or half masks; the UK is starting to realise that face fit testing is a mandatory requirement (COSHH 2002 / PPE 1992) for all workers wearing tight fitting RPE so it’s time to dispel a few myths.
Common workplace dusts contain many hazardous substances and particles such as reparable crystalline silica, manmade mineral fibres (MMMF), asbestos, wood dusts, metals, spores… killing tens of thousands in the UK alone each year.
Half face respirators can be fitted with a range of filters to protect against other airborne hazard forms such as gas, mist, fume or vapour.
A correctly fitting “mask” can protect workers against acute and chronic ill health conditions, an ill-fitting one simply will not!
As little as 24 hrs facial hair growth can significantly reduce the performance of close fitting RPE. If a person cannot or will not shave, then loser fitter RPE such as a powered hood should be sourced.
A FFP3 / P3 half face respirator does not stop all particulate, it merely reduces the inhaled quantity by a factor of 20.
A pre use “press to test” or “inhale check” does not negate the need for a face fit test; this was clarified by the HSE back in 2015.
A competent person should undertake face fit testing, this can be demonstrated by using a fit2fit approved tester.
Face fit testing should be undertaken before RPE is put into use… and repeated if the wearers face or RPE changes, there is no fixed expiry date.
A face fit test intends to test the suitability of the mask to the wearer, i.e. if it does or more importantly, does not fit the wearer.
Our RPE Face fit testing “train the tester” course is based around HSE INDG479, covering what instruction, information & training a competent fit tester must receive; all delegates are assessed with opportunity to practice their newly acquired skills..
Protect your workers, provide adequate respiratory protective equipment not forgetting to demonstrate that it is suitable; all masks simply do not fit all faces!