RPE Fit Testing
RPE Fit Testing is a legal requirement for all disposable, half and full-face masks (these are classed as ‘tight-fitting’ facepieces). If your employees wear tight-fitting facepieces in the workplace due to COSHH, Control of Asbestos, Control of lead then you will need to provide evidence of fit tests for each different make, model and size of the mask they use.
The health of your employees is at serious risk if the RPE you provide does not fit properly, this makes testing an essential part of the RPE selection process and should be included in your health and safety policy or asbestos management plan.
Qualitative fit tests rely on the wearer’s taste response to detect face seal leakage of a test agent (bitter or sweet). The qualitative method utilises a hood test and a sweet or bitter solution, which will be sprayed into the hood while the test subject undertakes a seven-test exercise protocol.
If the wearer does not detect the taste, an acceptable fit has been demonstrated. The seven-test exercise protocol tries to re-enact normal behaviour that your employees may conduct while using a mask.
See this link for more information on fit2fit and why you should request fit2fit tests.
Qualitative fit testing can be employed for fit testing of filtering facepieces (disposable masks) and half masks only.
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