RPE Mask testing

If you work in any field that requires Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE), you will need to undertake a fit testing. This is especially important in industries such as construction, demolition, Police, Fire Crews and healthcare professionals which have come to depend on properly fitting respirators for protection from respiratory hazards, such as chemical and environmental hazards, as well as airborne biohazards.

RPE fit testing should be conducted by a competent person - you should take steps to ensure that person who carries out the fit test is appropriately trained, qualified and experienced, and is provided with appropriate information to undertake each particular task. The British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) has introduced a scheme for fit testers, which may provide evidence to help you decide whether a fit tester is competent

  • What is fit testing?

    A “fit test” tests the seal between the mask facepiece and your face. It takes about fifteen to thirty minutes to complete. After passing a fit test with a respirator, you must use the exact same make, model, style, and size respirator whilst in your place of work. It is critical to ensure a tight seal is made around the face and the respirator is able to prevent exposure to contaminants.

    Tight-fitting respirators must seal to the wearer’s face in order to provide the expected protection. If there is a leak in the face seal, they may be exposed to harmful airborne contaminants.

  • Why Fit testing

    A good fit means the tight-fitting respiratory protective equipment will seal to your skin. A respirator can only provide adequate respiratory protection to the wearer when air passes through the filter and does not enter the wearer’s breathing zone via any other route. Air will take the path of least resistance, so if there isn’t a good face seal, some of the contaminated air will pass through this path rather than through the respirator filter, and therefore reduce the protection to the wearer. Every wearer’s face is different in shape, size and features. Tight-fitting respirators are available in a wide range of shapes, styles, materials and sizes. Unfortunately, there is no single tight-fitting respirator that can be expected to fit every possible wearer. Therefore, the fit of a respirator is personal, individual and unique to each wearer. The only way to know if a respirator can provide an adequate seal to a wearer is to fit test each respirator-wearer combination

  • There are two basic types of RPE fit testing: Qualitative and Quantitative.

    Qualitative fit testing (taste test)

    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 within a hood worn by the candidate. These tests are suitable for half masks and FFP’s (disposable). Not suitable for full face masks

    Quantative fit testing (taste test)

    Quantitative fit testing provides a numerical measure of the fit, called a fit factor. These tests give an objective measure of face fit. Quantitative methods are suitable for full face masks, half masks and FFP’s. We at JA Contracts undertake Quantitative Fit Tests using Portacount pro + face fit testing machines which give very accurate results, in turn giving you complete reassurance to any person exposed to potentially harmful environments.

  • JA Contracts

    We at JA Contracts hold the fit2fit accreditation for Quantitative fit testing and a separate competent person’s certification for Qualitative fit testing.

    Along with the above our technicians are First Aid trained and have undertaken a site access course under the Construction Skills Certification Scheme.

    To book a date regarding your requirements and how JA Contracts Ltd can be of service to you, contact us today!

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