Why is face fit testing required?
Where Respiratory protection equipment (RPE) is used, it must provide sufficient protection for the wearer. A major cause of leaks in RPE is due to a poorly fitting mask- the mask must be tight to the face. As people have varied shaped faces it is unlikely that one mask fits all. Face fit testing ensures that RPE provides adequate protection for an individual wearer’s face.
What does the face fit test involve?
First of all, the delegates must take the “Taste” test; this is conducted to make sure the delegate can actually taste the solution so the test can be taken properly. The trainer uses either a bitter or sweet test solution depending on how the person being tested responds.
The delegate will then take the Fit Test; this involves a series of exercises that are performed to make sure the mask does not move. The tests include the delegate moving their body and face in different ways to ensure the mask stays in place with a good seal.
When the delegate is tested on a mask the certificate they receive relates specifically to the mask type that works for them. If, after the test, they decide to use a different mask type the certificate will not valid for the new type of mask.
Wearers must be clean-shaven to achieve a good seal to the face.