Face to Face - Meet Pete Mathieson, our Face Fit Testing consultant

Tracey Bailey, Business Development Manager - Occupational Hygiene

Can you tell us a little about your background and your life before joining RPS?

I joined the army in 1997 when I was 17 and I was in the service for ten years. I had a varied role and at the end of my stint I was a PTI (Physical Training Instructor), where I was rock climbing and mountain bike training near Faslane Naval base in Scotland. Being in the army was a great experience and it taught me a lot.

When I left, I drove articulated lorries for a year before becoming an Operations Manager for a local authority. Following this, I joined a leading health and safety company, where I first started my career in Face Fit Testing and Training. During my time there I worked closely with the NHS, working on-site in many hospitals across the UK. A lot of my work was carried out during the COVID pandemic, ensuring adequate RPE was hugely important during this time. I really felt like I was helping and doing my bit, during a very difficult period.

 

 

How did you start your career with RPS and what was it about your role that appealed to you?

Ever since my time in the army where I had some experience with respirators, I have always enjoyed face fit testing and training. Everything somehow just clicked when I started testing and training. I also enjoy travelling to different client sites so this was a big part of the reason I liked the job.

When I first saw the job advert for a Face Fit Testing Technician, I did my research and read plenty of reviews online, speaking to some colleagues to find out what RPS is like. I liked what I heard and the fact that RPS offers face fit testing integrated into both occupational hygiene and occupational health services, really appealed to me. I really liked that there was room to develop professionally and learn.

 

Pete Mathieson

 

I had a good feeling following my initial interview right through to my final one with Matt Bates and Tracey Bailey. At that stage, further courses and qualifications were mentioned which further excited me. I am always keen to advance myself and I felt that RPS would support me. I also liked the structure and clear chain of command at RPS.

I officially joined in November 2021, at which point, I already held Fit2Fit accreditation for the quantitative (Portacount) method. RPS supported me to attain accreditation for the qualitative method.

 

What does face fit training involve and how does this help our clients?

Face fit training is a full day training course and provides me with an opportunity to work more closely with our clients. I am able to provide the best advice and support, relating to their face fit needs. For me, this is a big part of why I do this job, as I like to help people.

I have worked hard with our team at RPS to help develop a Face Fit training course that RPS can deliver to clients. It’s both exciting and pleasing to have the time and resources to do this. This training helps our clients get hands-on experience in training their own staff, helping to ensure their colleagues are as protected as possible in the workplace.

The training comprises a morning of theory followed by a more practical afternoon session. This involves me getting hands-on and providing instruction on how to carry out the tests. Following on from this, the staff can then get an opportunity and gain experience by testing their colleagues.

I deliver both quantitative and qualitative testing for RPS. Qualitative testing is a simple taste test that can be used to test disposable or reusable half mask respirators whereas, quantitative testing can be used on all respirator types, full-face, reusable half masks and disposables.

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Are you interested in joining our Occupational Hygiene team? If so, do get in touch with us at UKRecruitment@rpsgroup.com

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