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Qualitative Face Fit Testing

The HSE’s Approved Codes of Practice (ACoPs) supporting the Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) 3, the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 (CLAW) 4, and the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (CAR) 5 recommend that the initial selection of tight-fitting fate pieces should include a fit test. This is to ensure that the selected Respiratory Protection Equipment (RPE) has the potential to provide adequate protection for the wearer.

For RPE to be suitable it must be matched to the job, the environment, the anticipated airborne contaminant exposure level and the wearer. As people come in all sorts of shapes and sizes it is unlikely that one particular type or size of RPE face piece will fit everyone. Fit testing will help ensure that the equipment selected is suitable for the wearer.

Face fit testing has been developed (and required by HSE) to ensure that the wearer can get not only the best possible protection from their mask but also to provide the wearer with an opportunity to get some training on the use of the product.

Did You Know?

Qualitative face fit testing is a simple pass / fail test based on the subjective assessment of the leakage via the face seal regions of a test agent. These tests are relatively simple to perform and are suitable for half masks and filtering face pieces, they are not suitable for full face marks.

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