Making sure your masks do what they are supposed to!

19 Jan 2016

 

 

IESS are a family run business, based in Bolton, Greater Manchester, in the North west of England, offering a fully fit2fit accredited quantitative and qualitative face fit testing service to the whole of the UK. Our mission is to offer a fast efficient Face fit testing 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 while conducting Face Fit Testing.

 

Face Fit Testing

 

If you are using RPE with tight-fitting facepieces you should make sure each wearer has a fit test.  This is needed to ensure the selected face piece can fit the wearer correctly.

 

You can use the fit test as a training opportunity, as it allows you to highlight to the wearer the consequences of poor fit and improper use on the effectiveness of the RPE device.

 

It is also good practice to have a system to ensure repeat fit testing is carried out on a regular basis. This is especially important when RPE is used frequently as a primary means of exposure control, eg annual testing for workers involved in licensed asbestos removal. If there are any changes to a person’s face through, for example, weight loss/gain, scars etc, a repeat fit test will be necessary.

 

You can use the fit test as a training opportunity, as it allows you to highlight to the wearer the consequences of poor fit and improper use on the effectiveness of the RPE device.

 

It is also good practice to have a system to ensure repeat fit testing is carried out on a regular basis.

 

This is especially important when RPE is used frequently as a primary means of exposure control, eg annual testing for workers involved in licensed asbestos removal. If there are any changes to a person’s face through, for example, weight loss/gain, scars etc, a repeat fit test will be necessary.

 

 

 

Qualitative fit testing

 

Qualitative fit testing is a pass/fail test based on the wearer’s subjective assessment of any leakage from the face seal region, by sensing the introduction of a test agent. These tests are suitable for half masks. They are not suitable for full face masks.

Examples of qualitative fit testing methods are:

■ method based on bitter- or sweet-tasting aerosol;

■ method based on odour compounds.

We use the Bitrex (bitter tasting solution) to conduct our Qualitative Tests