When worn correctly RPE (respiratory protective equipment) should protect the wearer from airborne hazards (particulates, dusts, gases etc). Recent research has shown that around 50% of RPE used does not offer the wearer the level of protection assumed. The major reason for this is that it simply does not fit! 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. A face fit test will help ensure that the RPE selected is suitable for the wearer.
Morally we have a duty to ensure that workers go home safe and are not exposed to airborne hazards during their work. Legally, face fit testing is a requirement of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, the Control of Lead at Work Regulations and the Control of Asbestos Regulations. These regulations state that PPE must be “suitable” for its purpose – in this case it should protect the wearer from the airborne hazard.
All wearers of tight fitting or close fitting face pieces require a face fit test for each mask that they wear. The following are all defined as ‘close fitting’: full breathing apparatus masks (including positive pressure), escape set masks, powered respirators, re-usable half masks and disposable half masks. The test is a simple 20 minute test.
The face fitting process is now a task which we are able to offer for your employees or contractors that are working on your behalf. We are able to undertake this at your office or on site (if suitable facilities are available) or we can provide space at a venue in Barnsley. Please contact us if you require any further information on the process and how we may be able to assist.