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Does the Face Fit?
If you decide that an individual Face Fit or multiple Face Fits are required please click here to contact Safewell.
The best time to do Face Fit testing is at the initial selection stage where possible, when individual users can be given a choice of adequate models of RPE. You should ensure that the make, model, type and size of facepiece that they wore when they had their successful fit test is made available for their use. If an employee wears more than one type of tight-fitting facepiece, then each type of facepiece should be fit tested.
Face Fit Training
We now offer Face Fit training, this is an HSE requirement before Face Fit testing can be under taken. This is a 45 minute course based on 12 people, This includes an introduction to COSHH and its relevance to your work place. A power point presentation on why you need to wear a mask, how to maintain and care for your mask, and fitting and self testing.
What is Face Fit Testing?
Why Face FIt Test?
Every individual has a uniquely shaped face, whereas all masks of the same make and model are identical. Therefore one size clearly cannot fit nor adequately protect every individual. To ensure the mask adequately protects the person a Face Fit Test should be completed.
We use a quantitative fit testing approach using a TSI Portacount. This avoids subjective test differences that can be associated with qualitative testing.
We can help you to manage this by completing our Fit 2 Fit accredited face fit testing for your employees. These can be part of a health surveillance program or a standalone face fit test. It typically includes a questionnaire and a person wearing their own mask and performing a series of tests to establish if the mask fits correctly under the normal stresses of use. One face fit test is required for each different type of mask used.
Following the face fit test the employee and the employer will be given a Fitness for Work Certificate stating the outcome as pass or fail.
Where can Face Fit Testing be Carried Out?
A Note on Facial Hair
Many masks rely on a good seal against the face so that, when you breathe air in, it is drawn into the filter material where the air is cleaned. If there are any gaps around the edges of the mask, ‘dirty’ air will pass through these gaps and into your lungs. It is therefore very important that you put your mask on correctly and check for a good fit every time.
Facial hair – stubble and beards – make it impossible to get a good seal of the mask to the face.
If you are clean-shaven when wearing tight-fitting masks (i.e. those which rely on a good seal to the face), this will help prevent leakage of contaminated air around the edges of the mask and into your lungs. You will therefore be breathing in clean air, which will help you stay healthy.
If there are good reasons for having a beard (eg for religious reasons), alternative forms of RPE, that do not rely on a tight fit to the face, are available.
At Safewell we strongly advise that all employees are clean shaven to achieve maximum seal of the mask on to the individuals face.
Ultimately a cleanly shaven face is preferable and strongly advised and the employees must be made aware of this ideally at the start of their employment. Should an employee have a beard or stubble on the day of the Face Fit, its either recommended that they go and shave or we will not be able to test. If the employee doesn’t wish to shave, we can advise on potentional RPE alternatives. This will be role dependant.
Employees who are required to wear a face mask on a daily basis or regularly wear one through the week must be clean shaven to maintain a consistent fit.