Insight Workplace Health

Face Fit Testing

Assessing the safety of face masks

If your employee wears a face mask in order to carry out work, they need to be face fit tested.

A face fit test is a simple 20-minute test which checks whether a person’s mask fits their face shape and size.

Here at Insight Health Screening, we offer the qualitative face fit testing method. This is a simple pass or fail test, based on whether the wearer is able to detect a test agent. The qualitative test is suitable for disposable half masks and re-usable half mask respirators.

Whilst they are wearing the mask, a test agent is sprayed into a hood worn over the head. If the wearer can detect the test agent, then the mask leaks and does not provide a good enough fit. We use Bitrex (bitter) or Saccharin (sweet) solutions.

Face fit tests need to be repeated if:

  • an employee’s weight changes significantly
  • they undergo significant dental work
  • they develop any skin changes, such as scars or moles, around the area where the mask meets the face.

As an employer, you have a legal responsibility to control substances hazardous to health in your workplace and providing face fit testing is part of this.

Work activities that may result in harmful substances contaminating the air include:

  • cutting a material such as stone or wood
  • using a product containing volatile solvents
  • handling a dusty powder
  • welding stainless steel.

Our clients include