Wearers of Respiratory Protective Equipment

The need for this measure is significant; as no one’s face is exactly the same as another’s, each piece of respiratory protective equipment must be carefully adjusted to make sure that there are no leaks when using the instrument. No leaks, of course, means that the wearer receives maximum possible protection in hazardous environments.

The process of face fit testing is relatively straightforward, with just a few things to bear in mind. It should be considered that, along with face fit testing, training in effectively using respiratory protective equipment can be extremely valuable. This additional training can further help wearers take steps to ensure their own health and safety.

The most opportune time to undertake face fit testing is at the initial selection of the appropriate respiratory protective equipment for the wearer. Many professional providers of face fit testing also sell and hire this kind of equipment, and can help the client make the choice most adapted to their requirements.

After the face fit testing, the exact model, make, type and size of face piece that was tested should be obtained for the worker to use. If the operative needs to wear many different types of fitted face piece, each of them should be tested to ensure optimal health and safety protection.

It is important to remember that the presence of a good seal between the face piece and the skin is essential in avoiding leaks and their potentially serious health consequences. Wearers with facial hair should be made aware that this prevents a good seal being formed, and therefore leaks are far more likely and protection is therefore compromised.

Perhaps shockingly, up to 50% of wearers of respiratory protective equipment are not receiving the maximum protection that they could. This is due not only to the inadequate fit of face pieces, but also issues such as the presence of facial hair when the wearer is using their equipment.

Face fit testing should always be undertaken by a competent individual who has undertaken recognised training on how to fit respiratory protective equipment. Since 2002, there are a number of experienced professional services that specialise in this as well as the delivery of specialist training and sale of high grade breathing air products.

When looking for a professional to conduct face fit testing, it is imperative to look at not only the qualifications, experience and training that the individual or company has under their belt, but also their knowledge of current legislation and therefore their ability to provide the most accurate and up-to-date advice to their clients.