Face Fit Testing

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Importance Of Face Fit Testing In The Workplace

Face Fit Testing is recognised by the Health & Surveillance Executive (HSE) as the only means of ensuring that employees have adequate protection through the use of properly-fitted respiratory protective equipment (RPE). Having face fit masks properly fitted is essential as your employees could be exposed to diseases, harmful chemicals, fumes and dust if leaks are present in masks, and other safety equipment. Simply having the equipment isn’t enough – it needs to be fit for purpose with HSE face fit testing to ensure complete protection for your workforce.

The DB Occupational Health team can offer advice, assessments of work environments and compliant Face Fit Testing services for businesses and companies throughout the Midlands, whether that is in the healthcare industry or construction sector, or even retail. There isn’t a one size fits all approach for RPE face pieces; it’s not just crucial that equipment is suitable for the wearer, it’s a legal requirement as the final line of defence against harmful substances in the workplace. Ensure you are complying with the appropriate health and safety laws by arranging an assessment with us today.

Our qualified team have undergone extensive Face Fit Testing Training in the HSE laboratories in Buxton. That means that we know what is required when it comes to workplace safety in hazardous environments, and we know how to keep both your staff and business protected. HSE face fit testing regulations need to be followed precisely in order to protect the worker.

What Types Of Masks Require Face Fit Testing?

  • Powered respirators
  • Full face masks
  • Escape set masks
  • Full breathing apparatus masks
  • Filtering facepieces (disposable masks)
  • Half Masks

How Often Should Face Fit Testing Be Taken Out?

Naturally, the most effective time to carry out face fit testing is during the initial selection stage, so that you can ensure the user is given an adequate choice of RPE masks and models, though it is important to ensure that you carry out regular testing on all safety equipment to safeguard your employees in the workplace. To arrange your regular face fit testing sessions, contact our fully qualified team today.

Who Requires Face Fit Testing?

  • Dentists and Dental Nurses (this has been since COVID-19)
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Anyone who is exposed to dust and chemicals
  • Retail (since COVID-19)

It’s Important To Re-Test If Any Of Your Employees:

  • Has any significant weight changes
  • Undergoes significant dental work
  • Develops facial changes that affect the fitting of the mask
  • New chemicals are introduced into the workplace
  • Workplace environments change
  • Workplace practices or equipment change

If any of the above is true for your employees, it is vital you get them re-tested as soon as possible to ensure their safety and your compliance with the law. Contact us today to keep your employees and your business safe.

Facial Hair

Facial hair poses an issue in Face Fit Testing – in order for face fit dust masks to create an effective seal to the face, the user must be cleanly shaven. Any stubble, beards or facial hair compromises the seal – and loose fitting RPE puts the wearer at risk of breathing in harmful chemicals. Therefore, it is important to ensure Face Fit Testing is only carried out on those who are cleanly shaven; they should remain cleanly shaven at any time they wear the mask going forward. If you have any questions regarding how facial hair will affect your employee’s safety make sure to contact us.

Faulty Respiratory Protection Equipment Discovery

We recently worked with an organisation, carrying out face fit testing on their respiratory protective equipment (RPE), which had been in use by employees working on car bodywork. Find out how we helped this company in our case study.

Get in touch and see how DB Occupational Health can help your business safeguard from harmful environments today.

Face Fit Testing for COVID 19 Coronavirus

We are now offering face fit assessments, advice and support for businesses in line with HSE Face Fit Testing requirements and legal requirements as the final line of defence against COVID-19 and other hazardous substances.

During this time, we are doing everything possible to minimise the transmission of COVID-19. Part of this includes making observations from a distance and deliver any instructions verbally to avoid unnecessary contact. Other actions include the following:

  • For those who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or are isolating do not attend a face fit test appointment.
  • We ask both our team, and those being face fit tested to wash their hands before and after the test has taken place.
  • If we require making a closer observation, we will ask you to keep your respirator on.
  • If you are being fit tested with non-disposable masks, we ask that you clean the mask before and after your appointment.
  • For RPE that cannot be adequately disinfected (e.g. disposable half masks), these should not be used by more than one person.
  • We will be wearing disposable gloves when cleaning tubes and hood etc. These gloves will be immediately be disposed of after use.
  • All other materials, such as disposable masks, cleaning wipes etc will be immediately disposed of in a waste bin following the test.

How David Barber Occupational Health Can Help

We can help ensure that you remain fully compliant with all workplace and governmental laws that surround keeping employees safe in the workplace, whilst getting you the equipment you require. Contact us to discuss your requirements and we’ll help ensure your workforce remains protected from bacteria, harmful dust and fumes whilst working.

Online Management System

One of the many benefits we offer at David Barber Occupational Health is the use of our online management system. You will be able to access your reports from our various services and tests for each of your employees. The online system we use ensures all of your data is secured, only accessible to you via a unique login and has ISO accredited security standards. Find out more about our client system by emailing us.

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Face Fit Testing should always be carried out prior to the employee being required to wear one, so the sooner they know their fit the better! Beyond this, any time the wearers face changes dramatically due to weight gain or loss or extreme dental work etc the wearer will need to be retested.

Yes, providing the correct RPE (Respiratory Protective Equipment) is a legal requirement under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, the Control of Lead at Work Regulations and the Control of Asbestos Regulations. This means that Face Fit Testing is a legal requirement to fully protect employees.

Face Fit Testing is the only method approved by the HSE to fully protect employees against hazardous fumes, dusts and chemicals. It’s a quick and easy procedure that keeps employees as safe as possible.

Face Fit Testing protects against nothing other than poorly fitting RPE. However, faulty or poorly fitted RPE can lead to much more serious issues in the workplace like occupational asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

Face Fit Testing is a very simple process. You will be required to do several very light exercises that stimulate your normal everyday work life whilst wearing your RPE. Whilst doing these movements, you will be hooked up to a machine that measures particulate in the test room and within the RPE. In order for the RPE to be deemed as suitable, it needs to achieve a certain level called a fit factor.

In order for the mask to fit correctly and ensure employees are safe, even disposable masks should be face-fit tested.

The price of face fit testing for employees start at £330. More information about costs can be found on our prices page or contact us for more information.

Anybody who needs to wear any kind of RPE as part of their job needs to undergo face fit testing.

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