Qualitative Face Fit Testing

Qualitative (half mask) Fit Testing is a method for checking that a tight-fitting facepiece matches the person’s facial features and seals adequately to the wearers face.

When should fit testing be carried out?

Fit testing should be carried out as part of the initial selection of the RPE or when an untested facepiece is already in use. Annual fit testing is good practice, there are some situations where repeat testing should be carried out more frequently.

Benefits of Face Fit Testing

  • As an employer, you are ensuring that the RPE you are providing is suitable and sufficient for the wearer, giving them adequate protection from the hazards present.
  • As a wearer of RPE, you are reassured that the equipment you are wearing is providing enough protection from harm.
  • It ensures compliance with site rules and helps with tendering for work – many organisations and sites stipulate that RPE must be worn and face fit testing carried out before work is started.
  • It ensures compliance with approved codes of practices supporting Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 (CAW) and Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 (CLAW).
  • It reduces the chance of incorrectly fitted masks being selected.
  • It ensures that the wearer can put a mask on correctly.

We can test using any filtering facepieces (disposable masks) or half masks that are already in use within your organisation or we can supply Portwest Aukland half masks with P3R Filters as part of the testing process. Full face masks cannot be tested.

Each test takes approximately 30 minutes and uses an inert odourless substance which is used in this type of testing for its strong bitter taste that is easily detectable.

The test itself is performed with a testing hood worn over a fitted mask and the wearer will be asked to make several different actions. These are designed to simulate the movements of the head during work which can cause inward leakage if there is not a good seal.

Note: Facial hair is one of the leading reasons why the seal of a face mask would be insufficient. It is not possible to conduct a test on a person with facial hair around the seal area of the mask as this will likely lead to a failure of the test.


Cost for tests carried out at our offices are:

£20.00 per person using customer supplied mask or £35.00 with mask included.

For block bookings we can come out to you, please email ian@ulyettlandscapes.com and we will provide a quotation.

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