The importance of face fitting of respiratory protective equipment cannot be over emphasised. It can mean the difference between the protective equipment working and it being useless. If a worker’s RPE is not functioning as designed then there is a risk that injury will occur.
Although personal protective equipment (PPE) should only be used as a last resort, respiratory protective equipment (RPE) has an important role to play in protecting employees from inhaling hazardous substances.
The requirement for RPE face fitting
The Approved Codes of Practice (ACOPs) for the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002, the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, and the Confined Spaces Regulations 1997, all require that tight-fitting face-piece RPE should be fit tested.
Face-piece fit testing is a method of checking that a tight-fitting face-piece matches the wearer’s facial features and seals adequately to their face.