PCH Manufacturing Apprentice Reece gets to grips with Face fit

Reece has taken part in training to be able to fit our workforce with the correct respiratory protective equipment (RPE).

RPE are respirators or face masks used to protect the wearer from harmful dust and vapours. They rely on having a tight seal between the mask and the wearers face.

Where a risk assessment identifies the task may expose people to harmful dusts we are required to carry out face fit testing, to make sure that our workforce is protected and masks fit and are worn correctly.

RPE face fit testing is one of the methods which can be used to ensure masks fit correctly. Fit testing needs to be done by a person who has been properly trained.  The test involves spraying strong smelling compounds in a hood worn by the person being fitted, to see if they can taste them.  If the person being tested cannot taste the various sprays then their mask is fitted correctly.

Having successfully completed the training Reece will now be able to support face fit testing within manufacturing services. The property and safety team also took part and will be able to provide face fit testing and offer advice on maintenance and use of RPE.

Reece said: “The training was great and really quite interesting. A lot of people think that just putting on a mask is keeping the safe when actually people come in all sorts of shapes and sizes so a mask that may fit one person’s face may not fit another.

“There are also a few things you have to consider – for instance facial hair will not allow a good seal with the face so it may allow dirty air to pass through the gaps and into the lungs. We are making sure that people’s masks fit correctly and that way we can keep them safe.”