Face Fit Testing

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‘Fit2Fit’ Face Fit Testing

First Intervention Team (FIT) specialise in Face Fit Testing. Our FIT2FIT accredited Respiratory Technicians are dedicated to the delivery of face fit testing to help companies comply with the requirements of legislation and industry regulations. First Intervention Team (FIT) have a fully equipped testing centre in Coryton, Essex or we can operate remotely at your premises nationally.

Face Fit Testing is often reactive, so our Technicians are strategically located close to major cities to enable the demand to be met, providing our customers a quick response time. With teams deployed across the country we operate in: London, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Lincoln, Manchester, Leeds, Hull, Glasgow and Aberdeen with an ability to travel anywhere in the UK.

For special and large projects, we can offer an increased testing capability.

As part of our service, notifications are provided to staff/contractors when their certificate has expired. FIT2FIT recommends that a suitable interval for repeat testing is 2 years however, more frequent repeat Fit Testing maybe appropriate particularly where RPE is being used as a primary or sole means of control.

Why Face Fit Test?

Under the COSHH 2002 Regulations, all employers have a duty to provide face fit testing for their employees. All selected respiratory protective equipment must be proved adequate and suitable for the wearer, task and environment.

If wearing a positive pressure Breathing Apparatus, Studies have shown that during heavy exertion, it is possible for the pressure inside the face piece to momentarily become negative in relation to the outside atmosphere. If the face seal is not good this could result in inward leakage of extremely hazardous air.

What is Face Fit Testing?

Face Fit Testing is a method for checking that a tight-fitting face piece matches the person’s facial features and seals adequately to the wearer’s face. It will also help to identify unsuitable face pieces which should not be used.

There are two methods of face fit testing: Quantitative and Qualitative.

Quantitative Face Fit Testing

Quantitative face fit testing can give an objective assessment of Facial Fit and provides a direct numerical result called a Fit Factor.  The Portacount measures the number of ambient particles inside and outside a Facepiece and proves a numeric result which is a ratio of the two over a given period.

The mask is attached to the Portacount and the user completes a variety of exercises whilst stepping on an Aerobics step.  If the user successfully achieves a pass on each exercise at the end of the test a Fit test report/certificate is produced.

Qualitative Face Fit Testing

Qualitative face fit testing relies on a wearers’ subjective assessment of Facial leakage. The method uses a nebuliser of a bitter or sweet-tasting substance to challenge the mask’s seal throughout a series of tests. The user will put on the RPE and secure it in position, then the hood will be fitted over their head and once in place, the bitter or sweet substance will be sprayed into the head throughout the various exercises.

If the substance is not tasted then the face fit test has been successful, if it is tasted the RPE will be adjusted and the test repeated. Qualitative face fit testing can only be carried out on half masks and disposable masks.

What is FIT2FIT?

Fit testing should be conducted by a competent person. Competence can be demonstrated by accreditation under the Fit2Fit RPE Fit Test Providers Accreditation Scheme. This scheme has been developed by the BSIF, together with industry stakeholders, and is supported by HSE.

Can I wear a mask with facial hair?

As stated in the ACOP for COSHH when wearing tight-fitting RPE the wearer must be clean-shaven in the area of the seal. Facial hair/stubble can allow enough space for contaminated air to fit through the seal and therefore allowing the wearer to inhale it. For customers that do not wish to be clean-shaven or cannot shave for medical and religious reasons, alternative forms of RPE are available upon request.

HSE research shows that protection is significantly reduced after 24hrs from clean-shaven. More information can be found at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrhtm/rr1052.htm

First Intervention Team (FIT) is a proud supporter of the Mavis Nye Foundation. https://www.mavisnyefoundation.com/

Which masks need testing?

  • Filtering Face Pieces (FFPs)
  • Re-usable filter or cartridge half masks
  • Full face filter or cartridge masks
  • Escape set masks
  • SCBA masks
  • PAPR with Tight Fitting Masks

Call us for a no obligation assessment of your requirements – 01375 676779

Alternatively, request a callback or complete the customer enquiry form