Does all your respiratory protection equipment meet the new standards? Filter masks and respiratory protection should fit the face closely in order to actually provide protection. They also need to be properly used and maintained. Starting 1 January 2015, each employee that uses respiratory protection needs to undergo a Fit Test according to new occupational health and safety legislation and new ISO norms.
We can provide expertly trained fit testers and the proper equipment necessary to conduct a face fit-test according to the HSE 282/28 protocol. This means that the user, under supervision, completes several exercises that closely resemble practical situations. The resulting Fit Factor is an indication of the level of protection that the respiratory protection equipment gives to that specific user.
In preparation for the test, the user is not allowed to smoke, eat or drink an hour before the test. He or she also needs to be cleanly shaved and bring along a valid ID.
The following exercises are conducted during the Fit Test:
Breathing in and out normally;
Breathing in and out deeply;
Moving the head up and down;
Moving the head from left to right;
Bending up and down;
Talking out loud while wearing the mask;
Finally, another series of normal breaths in and out
During the test, the number of particles in the mask and in the environment is measured. This is used to calculate the results of the personal Fit Factor. A protection factor of 2,000 needs to be achieved.
If the system indicates a “Pass”, that means that the mask fits properly. You will receive a certificate that is valid for one year. If the system indicates a “Fail”, adequate measures need to be taken. This may include a different size or type of mask. The new mask is tested as well, to ensure that it fits properly.
We have access to the PortaCount Pro+. This is a particle counter that we use for the quantitative fit test. This measuring technique is an international standard when it comes to Fit Testing. The PortaCount Pro+ can be used with the following types of masks, (among others):