Face Fit Testing
Safety and Health
Face Fit Testing
What is Face fit Testing?
Under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH), employees who wear tight-fitting facepieces (masks to protect them from dusts, solvents, etc.) are required to have a face fit test to ensure the facepiece/mask matches the employee’s facial features and will provide an adequate seal to protect the wearer. Tight-fitting face pieces, dust masks, solvent masks, face masks, RPE and respiratory protective equipment are all terms for the same thing – a mask used to reduce the airborne hazards entering the lungs. A Face fit test is only required for masks with a tight face seal.
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 are Fit2Fit Accredited Face Fit Testers and offer a quantitative face fit testing approach using a TSI Portacount and quantitative face fit testing using a taste test in a hood. This avoids subjective test differences that can be associated with qualitative testing.
We can help you to manage this by completing 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?
As with most of our services, these can be at your workplace or our offices in Royal Wootton Bassett. If it’s only a handful of people or individuals, then our office works well, otherwise, it makes sense to arrange face fit testing at your workplace.
Face Fit Testing during the Covid 19 Pandemic
During the Covid 19 Pandemic there was heightened awareness and a specifc need for higher levels of respiratory protection for Frontline Health Care Professions, Dentists, Doctors and Primary Care Services as these workers were more likley to be exposed to Covid 19 from the patients they saw. Other professions, based on their risk assessments, may have needed to wear close fitting face masks to protect them from potential exposure toCovid 19 as well.
Public Health England in conjunction with the HSE has stated in its guidance document PHE HSE Surgical vs FFP3 Respirator PPE–
‘When caring for patients with suspected or confirmed infectious respiratory virus, all healthcare workers need to – prior to any patient interaction – assess the infectious risk posed to themselves and wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimise that risk.’
This includes advising on the use of an FFP3 respirator when
Where a patient is known/suspected to have an infection spread via the aerosol route
When caring for patients known/suspected to be infected with a newly identified infectious respiratory virus
Any close-fitting face mask like an FFP3 respirator requires Face Fit testing by a competent person.
This is one of the services Safewell offers – We have 2 Portacount Machines and 3 trained competent face fit testers.
Face Fit Testing can be done at your site or at our offices in Wootton Bassett.
We operate enhanced safety protocols where Covid 19 or other infection respiratory virus exposure is a risk to our staff to ensure the safety of our testers and those being tested.
We can also carry out respirator use training including enhanced donning and doffing to prevent contamination of the wearer.