If you wear a mask… you need a test!

SA Safety provide a complete qualitative Face Fit testing service. Our team of competent testers will undertake the testing on-site to ensure minimal disruption to your work pattern. We can deliver up to 20 Face Fit tests per day, with each test normally taking 20 minutes per person.

Qualitative Fit Testing (QLFT) is a simple yet accurate taste test, where a strong-tasting aerosol is introduced into a hood worn over the head in order to test the face seal of a mask. The qualitative method is suitable for disposable and reusable half masks only; full-face masks cannot be tested this way. Although this type of test is based on subjective detection and response by the wearer of the RPE, it is important that it is administered by a fit tester competent in using this method.

Why do I need a Face Fit Test?

Fit testing is required under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH), Control of Lead Work Regulations (CLAW) and Control of Asbestos Regulations (CAW) for all tight-fitting facepieces. If your operatives wear tight-fitting masks in the workplace then you will need to provide evidence of a fit test for each different make, model and size of mask they use.

In March 2019 the Health & Safety Executive released leaflet INDG 479 guidance of respiratory protective equipment (RPE) fit testing. Where Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) is used, it must be able to provide adequate protection for individual wearers. Facepieces need to fit tight to the wearer’s face to be effective, as RPE cannot protect the wearer if it leaks. Health & Safety law stipulates that tight-fitting RPE must be fit-tested as part of the initial selection process.

Once the test has been successfully completed a certificate will be issued and a copy of the Fit Test report will be provided to the employer. The report will recommend when the next fit test should take place, normally between 1-2 years.

Face Fit Testing is required for the following types of masks:

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Disposable half masks
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Reusable filter or cartridge half masks
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Powered respirators
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Full face filter or cartridge masks
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Escape set masks
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Full breathing apparatus masks

Repeat Testing

It is good practice to have a system in place to ensure fit testing RPE is carried out on a regular basis. The Health & Safety Executive guidance states that a repeat test should be conducted in the following circumstances:

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Change of mask type, model and/or size
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The wearer gains or loses weight
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The wearer undergoes substantial dental work
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The wearer develops any facial changes (scars, moles etc.) around the face seal area
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Where the employer’s Health & Safety Policy dictates

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