What is Face Fit Testing?



Face Fit Testing is method used for checking that a tight fitting facepiece matches the persons facial features and seals adequately to the wearers face. It also helps to ensure that poorly fitting facepieces are not selected for use.

An inadequate fit will significantly reduce the protection provided to the wearer. Face Fit Testing can also be used to ensure that an individual knows how to properly put on and wear the respirator.

If a fit test is not performed, then an unsatisfactory seal/barrier may excessive leakage of airborne contaminants into the wearer's breathing zone, even though the user is wearing a respirator correctly selected for the application.



The requirements for Face Fit testing are described in the Approved Code of Practices (ACoP's) supporting:


The HSE have produced a guidance document 'Fit Testing of Respiratory Protective Equipment Facepieces' (HSE OC 282/28). The HSE strongly recommend that fit testing is included as an integral part of any Respiratory Protective Equipment program


Tight fitting facepieces are:


Amon Electronics offers comprehensive Qualitative and Quantitative on-site RPE face fit testing services.


Quantitative face fit testing

Quantitative testing determines that a tight fitting facepiece, provides an adequate seal to the wearer’s face by measuring microscopic particles that exist in ambient air, it measures the particles outside the facepiece and then measures the concentration of those particles that leak into the respirator whilst the wearer carries out a number of specific exercises. For this test we use the TSI Portacount Plus Respirator Fit Tester which is a particle counting device.


The types of RPE that can be fit tested with this method include: 

Power assisted respirator or breathing apparatus face pieces are fitted with an adapter to allow them to be converted and tested as a negative pressure respirator for test purposes.

The benefits of this test type are that all types of RPE can be tested with this method, the machine counts the particles and calculate a fit factor and the tester does not have to rely on the person’s word that the mask fits properly. After the completed test the machine produces a pass/fail computer generated report.


Qualitative face fit testing

Qualitative Fit Testing is a pass/fail test that is dependent on a subjective response from the respirator wearer.

Performed using a hood and Bitrex™. The test solution (either bitter or sweet) is sprayed into the hood while wearing the respirator. If the wearer detects the taste of the aerosol during the test, then the fit is unsatisfactory and the fit test is failed.

Qualitative fit testing is only for disposable masks and half mask respirators.

For further information call us on 045 438187