Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of employees should be a top priority for any organisation. In industries where respiratory protective equipment (RPE) is necessary, like construction, healthcare, and manufacturing, fit testing is a critical process to guarantee that the RPE provides adequate protection. If the mask does not fit, it does not protect!
Fit2Fit Face Fit Testing Accreditation is a certification that organisations can achieve to demonstrate their commitment to adherence to industry standards. The accreditation scheme was developed by British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). In this blog post, we will explore what Fit2Fit Face Fit Testing accreditation is, its significance and benefits, and recall our advisors’ journey to achieve the accreditation.
Understanding Fit2Fit Face Fit Testing Accreditation
Fit2Fit is a recognised accreditation scheme for organisations that perform face fit testing for respiratory protective equipment. Face fit testing is a method used to ensure that an individual’s chosen RPE forms an effective seal around their face, preventing the ingress of hazardous substances. The scheme was established to set a high standard for face fit testing and accreditation. An accreditation can be achieved in both qualitative and quantitative method. The qualitative method is a simple test that can be used to test the fit of disposable and reusable half face respirators. This method is a subjective test and relies on an honest response from the test subject and their ability to detect taste. Quantitative face fit testing is an objective method that measures the mask’s fit by calculating the ratio of particles outside the mask to particles inside the mask. This method uses specialised equipment, such as particle counting device or a controlled negative pressure system, to provide a numerical result. This method can be used to evaluate the fit of any mask or respirator, including tight-fitting masks that may not be suitable for qualitative testing.
Significance and Benefits of Accreditation
Achieving Fit2Fit accreditation signifies that the organisation is compliant with Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations and fulfils the standards set by the HSE and BSIF. The accreditation demonstrates commitment to creating and upholding safe working environment and to educating about the risks of exposure to harmful substances. Those holding the accreditation can signify commitment to quality standards and professionalism. Holding the accreditation ensures that those carrying out face fit testing are doing so in the highest standard and have undergone training and examination to carry out the process correctly every time.
The Fit2Fit Accreditation Process
Our Health and Safety Advisors Noora Mättö and Stephen Little have achieved this prestigious accreditation in the qualitative face fit testing method. They received specialised in-house training to ensure they understand the testing procedure thoroughly. On the assessment day, our advisors attended the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) in Edinburgh to process through the required testing and examination to achieve the accreditation. The test comprises of two parts – a multiple choice closed book examination based on the HSE document INDG497 Guidance on respiratory protective equipment (RPE) fit testing and the BSIF companion document and a practical element where the candidates are asked to perform a mock face fit test with troubleshooting scenarios presented to them. Although performing under examination conditions is stressful to most people, or our advisors both achieved their accreditation and are now allowed to perform qualitative face fit testing under the Fit2Fit banner. To ensure professional development and the quality of assessors, the examination and practical test must be repeated in full in no less than three years from the date of qualification to keep the accreditation.
Genesis Can Offer Face Fit Testing and Training Services
We can offer our clients face fit testing related services that are carried out by our accredited Health & Safety Advisors.
Qualitative face fit testing – Our Fit2Fit accredited advisors can carry out qualitative face fit testing for disposable and reusable tight-fitting half-face respirators. The service includes a fit check for the mask provided, the fit test with either a pass or a fail result, and education to the employee about respiratory risks at work and how to take care of their masks appropriately. The whole process only takes 15 minutes per person so multiple employees can be tested in the same day guaranteeing efficiency. Our advisors will present a badge to confirm their qualification under the scheme.
Face fit testing train the trainer – Do you want to have trained employees within your organisation who can carry out qualitative face fit testing? We offer a Face Fit Testing Train the Trainer half-day course which equips delegates with necessary knowledge about the COSHH regulations and how to carry out the face fit testing process step-by-step. Because our advisors are Fit2Fit accredited, you will always receive quality training based on the principles that our advisors needed to know and understand to achieve the accreditation. We can also order face-fit testing kits to provide to you if you don’t already have one. Further details on this service can be found on our website.