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REVISED GUIDANCE ON RESPIRATOR FACE FITTING

HSE Inspectors to take action where RPE face fit testing inadequate

Revised HSE guidance to Inspectors on the fitting of respirator protective equipment (RPE) suggests a tougher line on RPE face fit testing.

The Guidance states that:

“inspectors are advised to consider formal enforcement action where persons wearing tight-fitting facepieces and have not undergone and passed an appropriate fit test or where fit test results are not readily available”

Face fit test must be appropriate 

HSE Inspectors will in the first instance press for suitable control measures e.g. water suppression, exhaust ventilation, to minimise exposure to hazardous substances.

Where RPE is used inspectors will check that a management system exists for correct selection, use, storage and maintenance of RPE.

For tight-fitting face pieces the selection process must include an appropriate fit test. A fit test report should include the following information:

  • name of the person fit tested;
  • make, model, and size of the face piece;
  • whether the wearer’s own mask, company pool mask or a fit test service provider’s test mask was used;
  • the test exercises performed during the test;
  • fit test method employed;
  • measured fit factor values for each exercise (if applicable);
  • pass level used;
  • date of the test;
  • the details of the person carrying out the fit test.
Comment

Where reliance is placed on RPE to protect person from hazardous substances it is no longer acceptable to ‘hand out a respirator’.

A tougher enforcement line by the regulator suggests that elimination at source or use of engineering controls is preferable where practicable.

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One Response to “REVISED GUIDANCE ON RESPIRATOR FACE FITTING”

  1. HSE CONSTRUCTION DUST ‘COORDINATORS’ ON THE ROAD | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] protective equipment (RPE) and management controls. A qualified trainer will be carrying out FREE Face Fit Testing at each session – Certificates will be […]