The Fit Test Centre

£42.00 £35.00
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FitTestService
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Was £50.00 Now £35.00

For all tight fitting respirator masks, this includes disposable masks, half masks and full face masks, it is a UK legal requirement that, at initial selection of the product the wearers is fit tested. Research in the UK has shown that up to half of the Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) currently in use does not provide the wearer with the level of protection expected. One of the major reasons for this is that it simply does not fit.

RPE must be ‘Adequate’ and ‘Suitable’. ‘Adequate’ means that the RPE is right for the hazard and reduces exposure to the level required to protect the wearer’s health, while ‘Suitable’ means that the RPE is right for the wearer and the task and the environment, such that the wearer can work freely and without additional risks due to the RPE.

At our fully equipped Fit Test Centre based in Wellingborough we have Fit2Fit accredited fit testers that can provide quantitative and qualitative face fit testing. As RPE experts we pride ourselves on our professional, efficient and flexible approach to our customers. Our Fit2Fit accredited fit testers will guide you through the correct RPE to use depending on the hazards you face in your work place, show you how to correctly don/doff your mask and how to maintain and store your RPE.
5 Steps to ensure your future respiratory health:

  • Book your fit test now using our online booking tool from a range of selected times and dates
  • Plenty of free parking is available when you arrive for your appointment 
  • Choose from a wide range of single use and reusable respirator masks
  • Training and Fit testing by a Fit2Fit accredited fit tester
  • Your selected RPE will be delivered directly to your door

Venue

Full Support Group

Harrowden Court

66-80 Huxley Close

Park Farm Industrial Estate

Wellingborough

NN8 6AB

On the day of training:

  • Please be aware that you should not eat, drink, chew gum or smoke 30 minutes before the session
  • You must be clean shaven
  • Medically fit to be fit tested (please refer to GP or occupational health if uncertain)

Frequently Asked Questions (click question to reveal answers)

Is Face Fit Testing a Legal Requirement?

Yes, face fit testing is a legal requirement for anyone who wears a tight (or close) fitting mask for work.

The supporting guidance from COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health), CLAW (Control of Lead at Work), CAR (Control of Asbestos Regulations) and the Ionising Radiation Regulations, stipulate that fit testing should be carried out as part of the initial mask selection process.  This ensures that inadequately fitting face pieces are not selected for use.

Face fit testing is required for all tight fitting facepieces:

  • Single use respirator masks
  • Half masks with re-usable filter or cartridges
  • Full Face masks with re-usable filters or cartridges
  • Powered respirators when used with tight fitting masks
  • Full breathing apparatus when used with tight fitting masks
What does the fit test involve?

There are two types of test.

Qualitative Test – Takes around 15-20 minutes

  • A simple pass/fail test based on the wearer’s subjective assessment of the leakage, via the face seal region, of a test agent.
  • Qualitative testing uses a bitter tasting but harmless solution (Bitrex).  The wearer puts in their mask underneath a hood that covers their head and shoulders.  At intervals during the test, as the wearer is carrying out a series of exercises, the tester sprays the Bitrex solution into the hood.  If the wearer can taste the Bitrex then their mask either does not fit or has not been fitted correctly.
  • At the end of the test the wearer (still wearing the hood) will reach up inside and gently lift the mask away from their face and immediately detect the bitter taste of the Bitrex. If this is the first time they have tasted the bitter solution then their mask will have passed the fit test.
  • This test is suitable for single use respirator masks and tight fitting half masks

Quantitative Test – Takes 15-20 minutes

  • Provides a numerical measure of the fit that is called a fit factor. These tests give an objective measure of face fit.
  • Quantitative fit testing requires specialised equipment and are more complicated to carry out than qualitative methods.
  • Quantitative methods are required for full face masks but can also be used for reusable half masks
How often should a fit test be carried out?

The test should be carried out 'regularly' or if the wearer:

  • gains or loses weight,
  • undergoes significant dental work, or
  • develops facial changes, i.e. scarring, moles etc. in the faceseal area.

Some companies have a policy in place for how often you should be fit tested, if you are unsure then please check with your employer.

Who can carry out a face fit test?

A competent person should carry out a face fit test.  Competency can be proven by accreditation to the BSIF Fit2Fit Fit Testers Accreditation Scheme, all Full Support Fit Testers are Fit2Fit accredited.

Should I keep a record of my fit testing results?

Every company should keep a record of their employees fit test results which should clearly state the mask make, model and size of the mask tested.

Records should always be available for inspection by the HSE if required. 

The HSE website has information and links to other sources - www.hse.gov.uk

The HSE document, 'Fit Testing of Respiratory Protective Facepieces, OC282/28', gives information on the legal requirement for testing and lays down the protocol for carrying out a test.

The HSE document, 'HSG 53, Respiratory Protective Equipment at Work', gives guidance on the selection and use of RPE.

What does tight/loose fitting mean?

Tight fitting is the terms usually given to a full face mask, a half mask or a filtering face piece that relies heavily on the quality of the fit of the face piece to the wearers face.  Loose fitting face pieces include visors, helmets, hoods and blouses.

Does fit testing mean that I now have to have my own face piece?

No.  However, you need to ensure that the make, model, type and size of face piece that you wear is the same as the mask worn during the face fit test.

Do I need to be physically fit to take the test?

No - the test is not a fitness test or a health check.  The test is to determine how well the mask fits your face, NOT if you are fit enough to wear the mask.  You do not have to be super fit to take the test but they will be expected to walk (not run) on a treadmill or step up and step down slowly for about 10 minutes.

I do a fit check every time I use the mask, is that the same as a fit test?

A fit check for a face mask involves checking the seal by creating a negative pressure inside the mask and causing the mask to 'suck' onto the face.  This is a very quick test and does not take account of the movements a wearer makes during the course of their work or the effects of pressure inside the mask once working.  The only accurate method of testing for a seal is to carry out a face fit test.

Why do I need to be face fit tested?

Tight fitting face pieces rely on achieving good contact between the wearer's skin and the face seal of the face piece.  As people come in different shapes and sizes it is unlikely that one type of mask will fit everyone. A poor fit will reduce the level of protection and may lead to immediate or long term ill health of the wearer. A fit test is also useful for checking that the wearer can correctly don (put on) the face piece.

Can I be fit tested in the face piece I usually wear?

The fit test will be carried out using the face piece that you normally wear or one identical to it.  If you are to be fit tested in your own face piece then the face piece should be clean and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

What if I normally wear more than one type of respirator?

If you need to wear more than one type of tight-fitting face piece for their job, e.g. a filtering face piece and a full-face mask respirator, then you should be fit tested for each type of face piece.

What will happen at the end of the fit test?

When the test has been completed, you will be told if you have obtained a pass or a fail.  A pass means that the face piece is suitable for you.  A failed fit test may indicate that the face piece does not fit properly.

What happens if I fail a fit test?

The fit tester will ask you to refit the face piece and repeat the fit test.  If a better fit is not obtained they may ask you to try a different size or type of face piece and repeat the fit test.  You should not use a face piece that does not fit you properly.

When should you not conduct a fit test?

In accordance with HSE Protocol OC 282/28 Paragraph 98 states you should not conduct a fit test if there is ANY hair growth between the skin & the face piece sealing surface, such as stubble beard growth, beard, moustache, sideburns or low hairline which cross the respirator sealing surface.   You should also refrain from eating, smoking or drinking anything (except water) for at least an hour prior to the test.

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