As part of HSE regulations and the corresponding Approved Codes of Practice, part of the process for choosing the correct model of RPE (respiratory protective equipment) is to undergo a “fit test”.
Where RPE is used, it must be able to provide adequate protection for individual wearers. RPE can’t protect the wearer if it leaks. A major cause of leaks is poor fit – tight-fitting facepieces need to fit the wearer’s face to be effective.
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 ensure that the equipment selected is suitable for the wearer.
What you need to do
The best time to do fit testing is at the initial selection stage, 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.
How to do it
RPE fit testing should be conducted by a competent person – you should take steps to ensure that person who carries out the fit test is appropriately trained, qualified and experienced, and is provided with appropriate information to undertake each particular task.
So Where Do You Start?
Complire Contract Services are accredited Qualitative RPE ‘Face Fit’ Test Providers with The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) scheme Fit2Fit. Please call us to discuss your needs.