Face Fit Testing
At Dalton Safety we are able to provide face fit testing for all customers that require this.
Fit testing is an essential process used to ensure that tight fitting respiratory
protective equipment (RPE), fits properly and provides effective protection to the
wearer. It is especially crucial in industries where workers are exposed to hazardous
substances or airborne contaminants.
The importance of fit testing cannot be overstated. A properly fitted mask creates a
seal around the wearer's face, preventing harmful particles from entering the
respiratory system. Without a proper fit, the mask may fail to provide adequate
protection, putting the wearer at risk of inhaling dangerous substances.
Current Health and Safety Legislation, Approved Code of Practices and HSE
Guidance stipulate that tight-fitting RPE should be fit tested as part of the selection
process. Health and Safety inspectors will seek to confirm compliance with the law
and may request to see Fit Test employee records.
Dalton Safety can help you fulfil your fit testing requirements and assist in the
implementation of a robust RPE programme. The Qualitative fit test process is
designed to put the mask, and in particular the mask seal, under pressure to see if a secure fit is maintained. Here is a step by step guide of the process:
- Qualitative fit testing relies on the wearer's sense of taste to detect any leakage around the mask. This method is commonly used for FFP and half mask respirators.
- The test starts with a screening procedure wearing the test hood, but without a mask. Moldex Bitter Sensitivity Solution is used to ensure that the wearer can firstly detect the bitter taste and secondly to establish how sensitive they are to the bitter taste of the solutions used within this procedure. The results of this sensitivity test will determine how much Bitter Test Solution is required during the fit test.
- The test itself is performed where the testing hood is worn over a fitted mask. The wearer will be asked to carry out specified exercises whilst the fit tester maintains the level of test solution throughout the test.
- If the qualitative fit test is conducted correctly then any test solution detected by the wearer can be assumed to have come from a face seal leak and would result in a failed fit test.
- If the wearer does not taste the test solution during the fit test, then the fit is deemed as adequate and the fit test result is recorded as a pass.
Fit testing should be conducted regularly, especially when there are changes to the
wearer's facial features, such as weight gain or loss, dental work, or facial surgery. It is also important to repeat the fit testing process when using a new model or size of mask.
By ensuring a proper fit through fit testing, employers can protect their workers from respiratory hazards and promote a safe working environment. It is crucial for
employers to prioritise fit testing as part of their respiratory protection program to
safeguard the health and well-being of their employees.