RPE Fit Testing
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 then you will need to provide evidence of a fit test for each different make, model and size of mask they use.
The health of your employees is at serious risk if the RPE you provide does not fit properly, this makes fit testing an essential part of the RPE selection process.
Qualitative fit tests rely on the wearer’s taste response to detect faceseal leakage of a test agent (bitter or sweet). The qualitative method utilises a hood test and a sweet or bitter solution 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.
Qualitative fit testing can be employed for fit testing of filtering facepieces (disposable masks) and half masks only.
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