Face Fit Testing
Tight fitting facepieces are:
- Filtering Facepieces (disposable masks) including FFP1, FFP2 and FFP3 masks
- Half Masks
- Full Masks
Quantitative or Qualitative?
The Quantitative method of testing can be used to fit test all types of tight-fitting masks including disposable, half and full masks. Quantitative testing is done using a Portacount machine that measures the ratio of particle both in and outside the mask and provides a numerical result called a Fit Factor. During the test, the wearer will be asked to perform various exercises designed to simulate movement within the workplace and read a passage of writing to ensure an adequate seal on the mask.
Qualitative testing relies on the wearer’s taste response to detect face seal leakage of a test agent (bitter or sweet). This form of testing can only be employed for testing disposable or half face masks, not full face. This test is done in two stages, the first to test sensitivity to confirm that the wearer can detest the test agent. The second stage is a series of tests and exercises using a full range of facial movements to ensure an adequate seal.
What does the test involve?
Face fit is a series of tests and exercises while stepping on and off a low step emulating a full range of facial movement to ensure an adequate seal is maintained. The test is laid out as such:
- Normal breathing
- Deep breathing
- Head side to side
- Head up and down
- Bending over
- Talk out loud (reading a passage of text)
- Normal breathing
Please contact a member of our team for further information
Red One provide quantitative and qualitative face fit testing.
HSE legislation INDG479 (include link) states that all RPE must provide adequate protection for the wearer. If your operatives wear tight fitting facepieces in the workplace then you will need to provide evidence of a fit test for each make, model and size of mask they wear.