Face Fit Testing - Respirator

Face Fit Testing - Respirator

Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE)

Facepiece fit testing is a method of checking that a tight-fitting facepiece matches the wearer's facial features and seals adequately to their face. It will also help to identify unsuitable facepieces that should not be used. You should carry out a fit test as part of the initial selection of the RPE. Remember that tight-fitting RPE will only provide effective protection if the wearer is clean shaven, so they should also be clean shaven when fit tested.

The performance of tight-fitting facepieces depends on achieving a good contact between the wearer's skin and the face seal of the facepiece. People's faces vary significantly in shape and size so it is unlikely that one type or size of RPE facepiece will fit everyone. Inadequate fit will significantly reduce the protection provided to the wearer. Any reduction in protection can put the RPE wearer's life in danger or may lead to immediate or long-term ill health.

Panoramic Safety are Fit2Fit accredited

The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF), recognised the need for respiratory personal equipment (RPE) to be fitted properly after it emerged that many workers' did not have the correct protection levels due to poor fitting equipment.

Panoramic Safety have undergone and passed the industry recognised exam and practical assessment for face fit testing and have the knowledge and skills to competently fit respirators.

Fit2Fit Accredited RPE Fit Test Provider

What is facepiece fit testing?

Fit testing can also serve as a useful training tool for teaching the wearer how to put on their facepiece correctly. Correct fitting of the facepiece at all times is vital to prevent exposure.

A fit test does not remove the need for correct and careful day-to-day fitting of the facepiece, which should always include a fit check.

A fit test should be carried out:

  • As part of the initial selection of the RPE;
  • Where an untested facepiece is already in use

It is good practice to have a system in place that ensures you carry out repeat fit testing of RPE on a regular basis. This is especially important when RPE is used frequently as a primary means of exposure control, eg annual testing for workers involved in licensed asbestos removal. You may find it useful to keep records of fit testing.

You should always conduct a repeat fit test if the wearer:

  • Loses or gains weight
  • Undergoes any substantial dental work
  • Develops any facial changes (scars, moles etc) around the face seal area

Where facepieces are issued on an individual basis it is recommended that the wearer is fit tested using their 'own' facepiece. Where this is not practicable, or pooled equipment is used, then a test facepiece that exactly matches the wearer 's 'own' facepiece (model, size and material) should be used.

When considering fit testing give thought to whether the wearer will need to use other PPE to ensure it is compatible and does not interfere with the protection offered by the RPE.

How is fit testing carried out?

There are two basic types of RPE fit testing - Qualitative and Quantitative.

Quantitative face fit testing provides a numerical measure of the fit that is called a fit factor. These tests give an objective measure of face fit. They require specialised equipment and are more accurate to carry out than qualitative methods. Quantitative methods are required for full face masks (but can also be used for half masks and disposable masks).

Qualitative face fit testing is a simple pass/fail test based on the wearer's subjective assessment of the leakage, via the face seal region, of a test agent. These tests are relatively simple to perform and are suitable for half masks and filtering facepieces. They are not suitable for full face masks.

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Services that Panoramic Safety offer

Face Fit Testing

Servicing & Maintenance

Panoramic Safety accreditations

British Safety Industry Federation: BSIF
City and Guilds Instructor
Fit2Fit Accredited RPE Fit Test Provider
The National Respiratory Protective Equipment Specialists       CONTACT US