Face fit testing

Face fit testing checks whether a person's protective mask fits the shape and size of their face. When worn correctly, Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) protect the wearer from airborne hazards including, particulates, dusts, gases and more.


Where RPE is used, it should provide adequate protection for the wearer and can't provide protection if it leaks. A major cause of leaks is poor fit – a mask should be tight-fitting to the wearer’s face to be effective.

All people come in varying shapes and sizes it's unlikely that one particular type or size of mask will fit. Fit testing ensures that the equipment selected will be suitable for the wearer.

A fit test should be carried out before anyone in the workplace wears RPE for the first time. Inadequate fit can reduce the protection provided and can lead to long-term ill-health. A fit test should be repeated whenever there is a change to the type, size, model or material of the masks, or whenever there is a change to the circumstances of the wearer that could alter the fit of the RPE. For example:

  • weight loss or gain
  • substantial dental work
  • any facial changes (scars, moles, effects of ageing etc) around the area of the face where the seal occurs
  • facial piercings
  • introduction or change in other head-worn personal protective equipment (PPE)

Note: Face fit testing is not required for surgical masks or face coverings.

Changes due to COVID-19

Due to recent events we have had to make significant changes to how we conduct our face fit testing services, either at client sites or on our own premises. The following measures will help us to minimise the risk of contamination whilst still delivery the highest quality service to our clients:

  • adhering to social distancing measures
  • extended time slots to allow for cleaning and avoid operatives passing each other when exiting and entering a testing room
  • non-contact infra-red thermometers to temperature check those who require face fit testing
  • sneeze guard screens to allow for segregation
  • increased cleaning and hygiene processes
  • provision of anti-bacterial wipes and hand gels for hygiene purposes

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Ben Massey

Business Development - Occupational Health & Hygiene +44 (0) 1235 437 100 EMAIL
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Milton Keynes | UK

Matt Bates

Technical Director - Occupational Hygiene +44 (0) 1235 437 100 EMAIL
Milton Keynes | UK

Tracey Bailey

Business Development Manager - Occupational Hygiene +44 1235 437 100 EMAIL
Milton Keynes | UK

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Get in touch

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