face fit

As part of our ongoing Partnership works with Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust, Bradley Environmental have carried out face fit testing for over 1,800 NHS staff and are pleased to announce that we are now able to offer this essential service throughout the UK.

Contact us now for an immediate quotation and to check availability.

Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE), such as disposable FFP3 and reusable half masks, has been identified as one of the principal means of reducing exposure to harmful airborne particulates, including the COVID-19 virus. Where “tight fitting” RPE is to be used, it is essential that a face fit test has been carried out, in all instances.

Bradley Environmental are able to carry out Qualitative Face Fit Testing at your premises, or at one of our office locations. We can work in Partnership with our customers to help ensure that your staff are:

  • adequately protected from airborne hazards present in their work environment by ensuring they have been issued with correctly fitted RPE;
  • suitably trained in how to correctly wear and maintain (if necessary) their RPE.

A certificate will be provided for each member of staff, upon completion of a successful face fit test.

The provision of correctly fitted RPE has never been more important. Anyone who may have to enter a building where there an increased COVID-19 transmission risk, may benefit from correctly fitted RPE. Similarly, tradespersons undertaking essential works who find it difficult to socially distance themselves from colleagues or other occupants of a building may also require the protection correctly fitted RPE is able to offer.

Current Health & Safety and Industry Guidance

In line with current health & safety and industry guidance, where RPE is issued by an employer, it must be able to provide adequate protection for an individual wearer (HSE Guidance Fit Testing Basics). In order to achieve this, the RPE must fit the wearer’s face and must not leak, in order to be considered effective.

In order to provide evidence that the RPE is suitable for the wearer, a face fit test is required for the type of mask issued. A mask that does not fit the wearer correctly (i.e. it is too large or too small) will not provide adequate protection.

What is Qualitative Face Fit Testing?

NB: Qualitative face fit testing is only suitable for half masks and disposable (FFP) masks.

Qualitative Face Fit Testing assesses the effectiveness of the respirator’s seal with the wearer’s face. The method of testing uses a nebuliser to disperse an aerosol of a bitter or sweet tasting substance to challenge the mask’s seal throughout a series of movement tests. If the substance cannot be tasted during the exercises, the Face Fit Test will have been deemed successful. However, if can be tasted, the RPE will be adjusted and the test will be repeated. If no seal can be achieved, an alternative design of mask will need to be found for the wearer, before a re-test is attempted. The test takes around twenty minutes in total and requires the user to wear a hood over their head and shoulders.

In addition to the Face Fit Test, our staff will also provide training and guidance on the correct donning (putting on) and doffing (taking off) procedures for the style of respirator they have been fitted to, as well as guidance on maintenance (if required).

It should be noted that in line with current HSE guidelines, all operatives should be clean-shaven prior to the completion of the fit test.

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