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Face Fit Testing

Qualitative (half mask) face fit testing is a process to ensure that Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) fits the wearer sufficiently to reduce exposure to airborne hazards such as Silica Dust, Asbestos, Fibreglass etc. as low as reasonably practicable. 

Due to the serious health complications these dusts can cause workers many sites now make it compulsory for employers to ensure RPE wearers have face fit testing as per the recommendations set out in HSE Guidance 282/28.

Benefits of Face Fit Testing

  • As an employer, you are ensuring that the RPE you are providing is suitable and sufficient for the wearer, as to protect them from harm.
  • As a wearer of RPE, you are reassured that the RPE you are wearing is providing enough protection from serious health ailments.
  • Comply with site rules and aid with the tendering for work, many organisation/sites now stipulate that RPE must be worn and face fit testing must be carried out before a single hole can be drilled whilst you are on their site!
  • Comply with the ACoPs supporting Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 (CAW) and Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 (CLAW).
  • Demonstrate that your company is dedicated to creating a positive Health and Safety culture.

The Test Itself

We can test any half mask that are already in use within your company or Mansfield Fire and Safety Management Ltd can supply Elipse SPR half masks with P3RD Filters and additional filters as part of the testing process.

The test will comprise of the operative wearing their half mask and donning a hood. A clear, odourless but unpleasant tasting solution will then be administered into the hood (this is to simulate airborne hazards such as silica dust). A series of exercises will then be completed (to simulate the actions a worker will do in a day e.g. talking, turning their head from side to side, bending at the waist etc.) If the solution is tasted at any time during the test then it is a fail and illustrates that the RPE is not providing suitable seal against the face to prevent exposure to hazards. However, if all exercises are completed without tasting the solution then the test is a pass.

Note: Facial hair is one of the leading reasons why the seal of a face mask would be insufficient. It is therefore not advisable to conduct a test on a person with facial hair as this will likely lead to a failure of the test.


Cost: £50.00 with mask included