Respiratory protective equipment
Tight-fitting respirators (such as disposable FFP3 masks and reusable half masks) rely on having a good seal with the wearer’s face. A face fit test should be carried out to ensure the respiratory protective equipment (RPE) can protect the wearer.
To ensure you put on tight-fitting RPE correctly, use a mirror or ask a colleague. Fit-testers should follow government advice on social distancing, as they can make observations from this distance and deliver any instructions verbally.
The user should then carry out a pre-use seal check or fit check. The following poster gives guidance how to put on disposable respirators and how to do a pre-use seal check or fit check.
Minimise the risk of transmission
People who have symptoms of COVID-19 or are isolating in accordance with government guidance should not attend a face fit test.
To minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 during face-fit testing the following additional measures should be taken:
- fit-testers should follow government advice on social distancing, as they can make observations from this distance and deliver any instructions verbally
- those being fitted should keep their respirators on if closer observation is required to minimise risk to testers
- both the fit tester and those being fit tested should wash their hands before and after the test in accordance with NHS Guidelines
- those being fit tested with non-disposable masks should clean the mask themselves before and immediately after the test using a suitable disinfectant cleaning wipe (check with manufacturer to avoid damaging the mask)
- test facepieces that cannot be adequately disinfected (e.g. disposable half masks) should not be used by more than one individual.
- fit testers should wear disposable gloves when undertaking cleaning of the tubes, hoods etc and ensure they remove gloves following the correct procedure (PDF) – Portable Document Format
- immediately dispose of used gloves, disposable masks, cleaning wipes etc in a waste bin