Using Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) is the most practical means of ensuring that workers are protected from the effects of occupational respiratory diseases. However, if the RPE doesn’t fit the wearer correctly they are not being adequately protected, therefore they are still exposed to the hazards they believe they are protected from.
RPE plays an important role in ensuring workers’ health, but the message that the equipment has to fit the wearer needs to be communicated by all. The law says that RPE must be adequate for the hazard and suitable for the task, the environment and the wearer.
The HSE has produced a practical guide on how to ensure your RPE is adequate. Including information on what you need to do, such as ensuring the make, model, type and size of the face piece they wore when they completed their successful fit test, is made available and also how you would do this e.g. having a competent person carry out the test.
To download this guide or read up on the basics of fit testing please see here.