Face Fit Testing

Many workers wear respirators or breathing apparatus to protect their health in the workplace. These devices are collectively known as respiratory protective equipment (RPE). Respirators filter the air to remove harmful substances. The requirement to ensure that ALL tight fitting face pieces offer adequate protection and is for ALL industries including ASBESTOS works.

If you are responsible for managing staff health and safety in your business or organisation, demonstrating that the respirator is suitable and sufficient may be your decision. If you are self employed then you must ensure that you have the appropriate RPE to undertake the task.

Face fit testing*** is a reliable way of ensuring that the chosen respirator is correctly fitted to the wearer and delivering the protection required.

We strongly recommend the use for Sundstrom re-usable half masks for the Non-licensable tasks and can supply and fit these at out fit test centre* or at a premises or venue you require**.

*At our fit test centre, we use the Quantitative method.

**Onsite or Inhouse we use the Qualitative method.

*** Both methods are satisfactory for NNLW and accepted by the HSE.

Bitter/sweet tasting aerosol fit test method -The Qualitative Test

The person is fit tested while wearing the respirator inside a hood while the test solution (either bitter or sweet) is sprayed into the hood. If the wearer detects the taste of the aerosol during the test then the fit is unsatisfactory and the fit test is failed. During this test the wearer will carry out a number of specified exercises.

Particle counting device-Quantitative Test

A particle counting device counts the number of ambient particles leaking into the facepiece and compares this with the particle number challenging the facepiece while the wearer carries out a number of specified exercises. This method can either use particles in the ambient air (normal room air contains a significant number of particles which are too small to be seen by the naked eye) or generated aerosols as the test challenge.

Conditions for Face Fit Testing

In order to conduct a complete face fit test you are required to adhere to strict conditions to ensure your best possible outcome. These conditions can be found in our supporting face fit testing advice page here.