Learn more about the regulations and find out about customised solutions to perform the Face Fit Test
Face Fit Test - UK
Protect your company by protecting your employees, contact GVS
GVS is the perfect partner to perform the mandatory fit test for face seal devices at your company. GVS offers training and Fit Testing performed with Quantitative methodology and according to different types.
UK Health and Safety in the UK requires that “where respiratory protective equipment (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.”
The Fit Test is a means of verifying that the facepiece fits the characteristics of a person's face and adheres optimally.
is based on a good seal between the respirator facepiece and the face of the
person wearing it. If the sealing edge is inadequate, contaminated air will
funnel along the path of least resistance and travel inside the facepiece.
As a result, a poor edge seal on the face reduces the degree of protection provided to the wearer.
The Fit Test is a mandatory test, and must be renewed by law at least every two years, barring any bodily changes-such as increase or decrease in weight, facial surgery, or accidents that cause permanent changes to the head.
The Current Legislation
The regulations in the UK dictating the method in which a fit test must be conducted is laid out in HSE document INDG479.
This contains the guidance on ensuring RPE fits correctly.
The selection, fitting, maintenance and, management and supervision of RPE within the workplace is covered by HSG53.
The Quantitative Fit Test (QNFT) is a test with a "numerical" (and therefore measurable and objective) result. It can be used for any tight-fitting respirator. It involves the use of an instrument called a Portacount to measure leakage around the face and produces a numerical result of the fit factor, which is compared to (and therefore certified as compliant with) the minimum fit factors.
The Importance of the Face Fit Test
- In order for a mask to protect the wearer its imperative that the air they breathe only passes through the filter on the way to their lungs. If the fit is poor, then the wearer runs the risk of the filter being bypassed.
- Any RPE selected must fit when worn in conjunction with other PPE – be that eyewear, hearing protection, hard hats or other forms of protection. The same applies to wearers of prescription glasses.
- When a mask fits properly, it should be capable of protecting the wearer whatever physical motion the wearer undertakes. A mask which moves when the wearer is active isn’t able to protect them adequately.