Research has shown that around 50% of RPE used does not offer the wearer the level of protection assumed.
The major reason for this is that it simply does not fit!
Exposure to construction dust can seriously damage your health and some types can even kill. Whilst the effects of this exposure may not be felt immediately, regularly breathing these dusts over a long period of time can cause life-changing lung diseases such as Lung Cancer, Silicosis, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and Asthma. Face Fit Testing is designed to protect workers from harmful chemicals and dust, which can account for up to 13,000 deaths each year.
Qualitative Face Fit Testing can help to ensure that employees are able to work effectively in their masks, without taking unnecessary health risks. It also means that employers won’t have to face the prospect of expensive enforcement action being taken by the HSE if their workers masks don’t offer adequate protection. Construction Dust is a general term used to describe different dusts that you may find on a construction site.
The three main types of construction dust are:
- Silica dust – created when working on silica- containing materials like concrete, mortar and sandstone (also known as respirable crystalline silica or RCS)
- Wood dust – created when working on softwood, hardwood and wood-based products like MDF and plywood
- Lower toxicity dusts – created when working on materials containing very little or no silica. The most common include gypsum (eg in plasterboard), limestone, marble and dolomite
Persons who are likely to be exposed to dust as a result of construction activities must protect themselves with the use of suitable RPE that has been selected for each task. Furthermore, they should be trained in the use of that RPE to ensure it is effective.
Qualitative Face Fit Testing
At this time, AGA only offer Qualitative Face Fit Testing, which is only suitable for half mask respirators. A qualitative test is a taste test, where a strong-tasting agent is sprayed into a hood worn over the test subject’s head. Full mask respirators cannot be tested using this method and must be tested by the quantitative method.
Andrew Goddard Associates are trained in line with Fit2Fit requirements.
For further information regarding our Face Fit Testing service, contact one of our advisers today.