Why Face Fit Testing?
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 facepiece, 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.
Face Fit Testing & The JSP FilterSpec (Matthew Judson, Respiratory and Technical Support Director, JSP Ltd)
How do we Face Fit Test?
There are two methods of testing for this, Qualitative and Quantitative.
Qualitative fit testing is a simple pass/fail test based on the wearer’s subjective assessment of the leakage, via the face seal region, of a test agent. These tests are relatively simple to perform and are suitable for half masks and filtering facepieces. They are not suitable for full face masks.
The JSP Qualitative Face Fit Test Kit is a taste test using a bitter tasting aerosol.This is a test method that is very suitable for use on site, it is relatively quick and is ideal for disposable masks.
Quantitative fit testing provides a numerical measure of the fit that is called a fit factor. These tests give an objective measure of face fit. They require specialised equipment and are more complicated to carry out than qualitative methods. Quantitative methods are required for full face masks.
JSP use A particle counting device to count the number of ambient particles leaking into the facepiece and compares this with the particle number challenging the facepiece while the wearer carries out a number of specified exercises. This method is ideal for full and half face respirator testing.
The JSP Fit Testing Solution
Fit 2 Fit – Face Fit Test – A Guide by JSP Ltd
Why do testers need to be accredited?
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, the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (CAR)5 recommend that the initial selection of tight-fitting facepieces should include a fit test. This is to ensure that the selected RPE has the potential to provide adequate protection for the wearer.
These regulations require that RPE fit testing should be conducted by a competent person. JSP Fit Testers have demonstrated their competence by achieving accreditation under the ‘Fit2Fit RPE Fit Test Providers Accreditation Scheme’. This Scheme has been developed by the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) together with industry stakeholders and is supported by HSE. Further details on the scheme can be found at the web site: .
Information by kind permission of JSP Ltd.
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