Your health DOES matter.....

.......and with that in mind, is it worth wearing ill-fitting face pieces designed to protect you?

Currently, respirators are used to protect workers and their selection and use are regulated by national legislation. These requirements include fit test of negative pressure respirator’s mask for each worker - individually.

There are qualitative and quantitative fit test methods (QLFT & QNFT). The implementation of the requirements of this standard is mandatory for the employer.

Scientific studies have shown that if the mask size and shape better fit to the employees’ face, they will be better protected in the harmful workplaces.

Qualitative fit test methods (QLFT)

These methods use the reaction of workers to the taste or smell of a special material (if it leakage into mask in large degree) - gas, vapors or aerosols, and it helps to detect the presence of gaps. Such reaction is subjective, and it depends on the work reporting results honestly. A qualitative fit test will start with an unfiltered/non-respirator sampling of the mist of choice to verify that the subject can detect the substance of choice. Experts use different types of substances to accomplish the fit testing.

  • Isoamyl acetate - This substance has the smell of bananas. Since vapor can freely penetrate through the surface of the filtering half facepiece respirators, isoamyl acetate is used only for fit testing of elastomeric masks.

  • Saccharin - An aerosol of an aqueous solution of saccharin (Sodium saccharin) is used to fit test both an elastomeric and filtering respirator masks. Saccharin is perceived as sweet taste. The employee should breathe through the mouth, slightly sticking out his tongue. The aerosol is created using a simple aerosol generator with rubber "pear", which is compressed manually.

  • Bitrex - A substance with a bitter taste (Bitrex™) used to detect gaps. It is mixed with water and sprayed in the same manner as the above materials.

Quantitative fit test methods (QNFT)

Using a Portacount to determine the concentrations of particles under the mask and outside the mask, or to determine the flow rate of air flowing under the mask through the gap(s), allows the operator to fit test the mask quantitatively. It is believed that these quantitative methods are more accurate and reliable than qualitative methods.

To give yourself or employees/colleagues piece of mind, we offer face fit testing by a technician deemed "competent" by the BSIF by passing their fit2fit accreditation scheme. Both Quantitative and qualitative methods are available and even if it is only a question you have at the early stages of ensuring you have the right RPE please feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements.

IESS are a family run business, offering a fully fit2fit accredited quantitative and qualitative face fit testing service. Our mission is to offer a fast efficient service, tailored to the needs of each customer, whilst maintaining high standards of workmanship. This will ensure companies remain compliant with HSE legislation HASAWA (1974), COSHH 2005, CLAW 2002 and CAW 2012. IESS have a quality led customer focused team, who will offer flexibility and efficiency, there by ensuring minimum disruption to your company.

Please contact us for more information, or an independent, tailored quote, to suit your requirements.

07925 725 705

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