Reasons Why You Need a Face Fit Test

17th June 2021

Face Fit Testing is the process of checking that respiratory equipment offers safe and adequate levels of protection to users. It is recognised by the Health & Surveillance Executive (HSE) as the best way to ensure wearers have sufficient protection when working. Harmful chemicals, diseases and substances found in the workplace can have a detrimental effect on your employees. It is vital to carry out regular face fit testing to keep them safe. 

Why do you need to carry out a Face Fit Test?

1. It’s The Law

In the UK anyone who wears a tight fitting face mask as part of their job is legally required to undergo a face fit test. A certificate is required to prove the face mask offers sufficient levels of protection during the working day. As a legal requirement to protect your employees with adequate RPE, book your face fit test with us today. 

2. Finding A New Mask

If your employees need new face masks then a face fit test is required to find the best fit. It can be tempting to buy your RPE in bulk and save time and money, but when it comes to face masks a one size fits all approach is not the best solution. Your employees all have different requirements when it comes to masks. To ensure no harmful chemicals or dust harm your employees, you need to provide adequate face fit testing. We are able to carry out face fit testing in large groups for your convenience and to speed up the process. 

3. Protecting Employees Health

Face fit testing will help keep your employees safe against the harmful effects of hazardous chemicals, materials or diseases. By ensuring the face mask is adequately fitted to your employees’ faces, you are protecting them to the best of your ability. Having respiratory protective equipment that is fitted correctly is essential in reducing workplace related illnesses or deaths. Harmful substances that employees work with can build up and cause serious long term health conditions. 

4. Facial Changes

Weight changes, facial hair or injuries to the face can all affect the protection level offered by a face mask. It is vital to carry out face fit testing after such changes to ensure that the masks still offer adequate protection. For example, subtle changes to facial hair can hugely impact the seal of the face mask; loose-fitting RPE puts the wearer at risk of illness from toxic chemicals. 

5. You Haven’t Tested Your Employees In A While

Even if the face of your employees hasn’t undergone significant changes and you haven’t replaced your workplace masks, it is important to undergo regular face fit testing. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that masks should be checked regularly to ensure there fit. We recommend carrying out face fit testing every 1-3 years to ensure adequate protection is still being offered by the face masks. 


Who requires Face Fit Testing?

Anybody who wears RPE as part of their job needs to undergo face fit testing. This includes (but isn’t limited to): 

  • Dentists, nurses and retail staff (since Covid)
  • Anyone exposed to toxic dust of chemicals
  • Manufacturing companies

If you are unsure whether your employees require face fit testing, get in touch with our team and we’ll be more than happy to advise you further.

Is face fit testing a legal requirement for disposable masks?

To ensure adequate protection is offered, even disposable masks need to be tested to ensure fitting is correct. It’s a quick and easy procedure that ensures the safety of your employees. 

What happens in a face fit test?

We ask you employees to mimic their normal everyday work life whilst wearing their RPE. They will be hooked up to a machine while carrying out these exercises to determine the particulate in the test room and the RPE. It will have to achieve a certain level called a fit factor to be deemed suitable. 

Our expert team offers face fit testing in workplaces to ensure your employees are kept safe and that all legal requirements are met. Contact us today to book an appointment. 

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