1. It’s The Law
In the UK anyone who wears a tight fitting face mask as part of their job is legally required to undergo a face fit test. A certificate is required to prove the face mask offers sufficient levels of protection during the working day. As a legal requirement to protect your employees with adequate RPE.
2. Finding A New Mask
If your employees need new face masks then a face fit test is required to find the best fit. It can be tempting to buy your RPE in bulk and save time and money, but when it comes to face masks a one size fits all approach is not always the best solution. Your employees all have different requirements when it comes to masks. To ensure no harmful chemicals or dust harm your employees, you need to provide adequate face fit testing.
3. Protecting Employees Health
Face fit testing will help keep your employees safe against the harmful effects of hazardous chemicals, materials or diseases. By ensuring the face mask is adequately fitted to your employees’ faces, you are protecting them to the best of your ability. Having respiratory protective equipment that is fitted correctly is essential in reducing workplace related illnesses or deaths. Harmful substances that employees work with can build up and cause serious long term health conditions.
4. Facial Changes
Weight changes, facial hair or injuries to the face can all affect the protection level offered by a face mask. It is vital to carry out face fit testing after such changes to ensure that the masks still offer adequate protection. For example, subtle changes to facial hair can hugely impact the seal of the face mask; loose-fitting RPE puts the wearer at risk of illness from toxic chemicals.
5. You Haven’t Tested Your Employees In A While
Even if the face of your employees hasn’t undergone significant changes and you haven’t replaced your workplace masks, it is important to undergo regular face fit testing. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that masks should be checked regularly to ensure there fit for purpose.