Face Fit







BHB Has recently completed FIT2FIT accredited face fit test course! You can check if a tester is accredited here http://fit2fit.org

BHB offer a Quantitative Fit Testing Service. Tests can be booked for a ½ day a full day or a one-off test, which ever suits you best.


  • Individual test- Individual tests can be booked to suit yourself £65 + vat per test at our office
  • Half day testing- We can test up to 8 people at our office or at your site £300 + vat + mileage @0.50p per mile
  • Full day Testing- We can test up to 16 people at our office or at your site £600 + vat + mileage @0.50p per mile


What is a face fit test?


A face fit test is a simple 30-minute test which tells you if the mask you intend to wear is suitable for your face profile. In other words, when worn correctly the mask should protect you from airborne contaminates such as liquid or solid particulates, dust’s, gases or vapours. If the mask does not fit you correctly any airborne contaminates will simply end up in your lungs


Quantitative Testing


Is suitable for all masks. There are several methods of quantitative testing, we use TSI Portacount which is the most common “particle counting” This counts the number of microscopic dust particles in the ambient air and compares this to the number of dust particles inside the mask.


Each Test takes approximately 30 minutes to conduct Candidates MUST be clean shaven And refrain from smoking or eating ½ Hour before the test.




Where does it say I need to be face fit tested?

The supporting guidance for COSHH (Control Substances Hazardous to Health), CLaW (Control of Lead at Work) and CAR (Control of asbestos Regulations) recommends face fit testing as a method of ensuring an adequate face seal. The HSE document OC 282/28 (Fit Testing of Respiratory Protective Equipment Face Pieces) lays down the protocol for carrying out face fit testing.


Why do I need to be face fit tested?

Tight fitting face pieces rely on achieving good contact between the wearers skin and the face seal of the face piece. As people come in different shapes and sizes it is unlikely that one type of mask will fit everyone. A poor fit will reduce the level of protection and may lead to immediate or long term ill health of the wearer. A Fit Test is also useful for checking that the wearer can correctly don (put on) the face piece.


What does close/tight/loose fitting mean?

Close and tight fitting are the terms usually given to a full-face mask, a half mask or a filtering face piece that relies heavily on the quality of the fit of the face piece to the wearers face. Loose fitting face pieces include visors, helmets, hoods and blouses.


If I wear escape set masks do they need to be tested?

Yes. All close-fitting masks, or in other words masks that work by creating a seal to your face need to be tested. If your escape set is a hooded set then the hood is classed as loose fitting (not close fitting) and therefore does not require a test.


Do I have to pass a face fit test before I go on a breathing apparatus course?

No. in fact it is the other way around. During the fit test you will be assessed on how well you fit the mask to your face so it is important you are competent in donning (putting on) procedures prior to the test.


I am not fit/ overweight/ have a bad leg etc. should I still take the test?

Yes- the test is not a fitness test or a health check. The test is to determine how well the mask fits your face, NOT if you are fit enough to wear the mask. Operatives do not have to be super fit to take the test but they will be expected to walk or step up and step down for about 10 minutes.


My breathing apparatus works on positive pressure so do I still need a face fit test?

Yes- during the breathing cycle (particularly during heavy exertion) you breathe faster in and out in the middle of your breath. This is known as inhalation/exhalation. During this period, it is possible to “over breathe” the set which then momentarily operate in negative pressure in relation to the outside atmosphere.

I do a pre-use check every time I use the mask, isn’t that the same as a face fit?

One of the pre-use checks for a face mask involves checking the seal by creating negative pressure inside the mask and causing the mask to “suck” onto the face. This is a very quick test and does not take account of the movements a wearer makes during their work. The only accurate method of testing for a seal is to carry out a face fit test.


Can I be fit tested in the piece I usually wear?

The fit test will be carried out using the face piece you normally wear or one identical to it. If you can be fit tested in your own face piece then the face piece should be clean and maintained in accordance with the manufactures instructions.


How often should I have a fit test?

You should be retested if you or the company you work for need to change to different type of face piece; if you lose or gain weight; undergo any substantial dental work or develop facial imperfections (Scars, Moles etc) around the face seal area. Your company may also have a policy that you have a fit test every year or two years for example. It is good practise to re-test at regular intervals.