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Requirements For Face Fit Testing

How to get ready for a qualitative fit test?

You will need to be clean shaven, medically fit and well, able to test the bitter or sweet solutions used to test and, have a mask offering the correct protection for the hazards you face.

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Here we detail the main requirements for a successful face fit test to be done:

As qualitative face fit testing requires the wearer to be able to taste a bitter or sweet solution, it is important that those being tested are advised not to eat, drink (except still, unflavoured water), chew gum or smoke for at least 30 minutes prior to being tested. This helps to ensure the subject will have a clear palate and be able to accurately detect the testing agent.

Wearers are to be clean-shaven in the face seal area (where the mask makes contact with the face); this is defined as having shaved within the last 8-hours.

The wearer should be medically fit to wear RPE and be in a position to confirm this to the fit tester. Some medical conditions can prevent a worker from being able to wear a close-fitting mask as the added breathing resistance can cause difficulties.

If disposable masks are to be worn then a new mask should be available to each wearer to avoid hygiene issues (it is often possible to disinfect reusable RPE between uses).

Wearers should wear any other items of PPE that would be used in combination with the mask. It is vital to ensure they do not interfere with the fitment of the mask or vice-versa. It may be necessary to change items to ensure that compatibility can be achieved. Having a selection of masks and PPE on-hand can help guide your selection of appropriate equipment.

The chosen mask should be manufactured to the required legal standards being ‘CE’ marked and selected to offer the correct protection for the task at hand.

Due to the nature of the test requiring subjects to wear a ‘hood’ over the head and shoulders for the duration of the 7-minute test, those who are acutely claustrophobic may be more comfortably fit tested by the quantitative method.

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