Regulation for PPE
If your occupation or business requires you to wear respiratory protection, then under the Health and Safety at Work (General Risk and Workplace Management) Regulations 2016. A PCBU must ensure that any personal protective equipment (PPE) provided by the PCBU under regulation 15(2), or that is provided by the worker under regulation 16(1), is selected to minimise risks to health and safety and that the equipment is—
(i) suitable, having regard to the nature of the work and any hazard associated with the work; and
(ii) a suitable size and fit and reasonably comfortable for the worker who is to wear or use it.
Face fitting for respiratory protection
Face fit testing is the process of having a special protective mask fitted to a person’s face to ensure that one has adequate protection from external contaminants that are harmful to the body.
It is essential that the mask is fitted according to a specific person’s facial features to avoid leaks.
One of the major cause of leaks is a poor face fit or use of tight-fitting face pieces.
We offer a Qualitative face fit testing service this is a pass/fail method that uses taste, smell or reaction to an irritant to detect leaks.
What do you need to do?
If an employee wears more than one type of tight-fitting face piece, then each type of face piece should be fit tested.
You should ensure that the make, model, type and size of face piece that they wore when they had their successful fit test is made available for their use.
Facial hair is a significant cause of failure in respiratory equipment this is due to the hair stopping the mask from creating an effective seal. It is recommended that wearers are clean shaven for the test.
It should be noted if they are clean shaven at the time of the test and then grow facial hair afterwards the mask is not likely to fit correctly.