All wearers of tight fitting face pieces including positive pressure equipment must be face fit tested. Operators must be trained in its use and the equipment must be serviced in accordance with manufacturers recommendations (at least annually). Plus additional servicing dependant on the hazards and levels of exposure should be carried out.
Face Fit Testing
All of our trainers are full accredited under the British Safety Institute's RPE Fit to Fit scheme. Face Fit Testing can be carried out at our training facility or the trainer can come to your offices complete with all the necessary equipment to provide operator certification recognised by HSE.
We also carry out monthly, quarterly and annual inspections, servicing and repairs on all types of RPE at your premises or ours. Each piece of equipment is individually identified and certified by our experienced and OEM accredited engineers using specialist test and measurement equipment.
What types of RPE can be tested with a Portacount?
What does the fit-test consist of?
The quantitative test and involves the candidate wearing a respirator of the make, model and size that they are to use in the workplace, and this is connected to a test machine that counts the particulate in the test room and the particulate within the respirator and calculates, from this information, a fit-factor. For those wearing half-face masks the required fit factor is 100, for those wearing full-facemasks the required fit factor is 2000.
In order to simulate a working regime and the facial movements that may affect the fit of a respirator under normal use the candidate undertakes 7 simple exercises of 60 seconds each whilst connected to the machine. These are basically head movements and talking aloud whilst walking on the spot.
What will be required from me when I have a fit test?
If you are a smoker you will be required to refrain from smoking for at least one hour prior to the fit test, this is because the sensitive equipment may detect particulate in exhaled breath which may result in a false failure.
A fit test should not be conducted if you have any facial hair growth in the area where the respirator facepiece 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 facepiece seal touches your face.
Whilst the tests are not physically arduous the tester has a duty of care to those being tested, you will therefore be asked to sign a form to say that you are fit to undertake the tests.
What if I wear more than one type of respirator?
If you need to wear more than one type of tight-fitting respirator for your job, then you should be fit tested for each type of respirator.