Welcome Guest! The IOSH forums are a free resource to both members and non-members. Login or register to use them

Postings made by forum users are personal opinions. IOSH is not responsible for the content or accuracy of any of the information contained in forum postings. Please carefully consider any advice you receive.

Notification

Icon
Error

Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
safetyamateur  
#1 Posted : 12 October 2017 12:14:13(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
safetyamateur

Can't for the life of me find anything in 282/28 (excluding Asbestos exposure) which gives guidance on frequency of testing policy (i.e. not change of condition/mask etc.). A quick trawl through the forums here hasn't identified anything either.

I've seen a University's own document online (quite a good one) that shows they've gone for 5 years which sounds OK but is there anything I should be basing it on.   

 

descarte8  
#2 Posted : 12 October 2017 12:26:52(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
descarte8

HSE battered around some rough guidelines, it was expected for them to come off the fence and suggest either every 2 or 3 years - but they never did (to my knowledge).

I think generally, annual is seen as too frequent, 5 years too in-frequent. 2-3 years seems to be a sweet spot

Obviously with testing as and when required based on the usual guidelines, dental, weight gain/loss etc...

Elfin Davy 09  
#3 Posted : 12 October 2017 12:28:58(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Elfin Davy 09

Hi

There isn't one...  HSE guidance (as per RPE at Work - HSG53) states "it is good practice to ensure repeat fit testing is carried out on a regular basis" so it's up to you to decide.  I would say - if nothing else changes of course - that every 5 years is probably reasonable. 

ashleywillson  
#4 Posted : 12 October 2017 12:39:45(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
ashleywillson

Originally Posted by: Elfin Davy 09 Go to Quoted Post

Hi

There isn't one...  HSE guidance (as per RPE at Work - HSG53) states "it is good practice to ensure repeat fit testing is carried out on a regular basis" so it's up to you to decide.  I would say - if nothing else changes of course - that every 5 years is probably reasonable. 

The key factor here being "if nothing else changes". There are other factors which, in my opinion, pay into this.

I would be considering:

  • Frequency of work requiring RPE - if they are wearing RPE every day then you will want to test more frequently
  • Material being worked with which is requiring RPE - something like Cat C Asbestos removal will mean a higher frequency of fit test is appropriate.
  • Accident / Near Miss reports - may prompt for operatives to be re-fit tested
  • Inspection reports - lack of wearing RPE or ill fitting RPE may require re-testing as the fit test should also include training on selection and wearing of types of RPE
  • Physiological changes - this is the obvious one if physiological changes are obvious the operative should be re-tested
  • Technological advancements - changes in selection of RPE will mean if new/different types are selected then everyone will need re-resting.

Even at the higher risk end of things I would sday 2 yearly intervals with lower tasks tending towards the 4-5 year.

The crux is that there is no guidance - but you may have to justify why you selected the time period you have. Give consideration to the above points and draw your conclusions there, but I would be wary of saying "carpet 5 years for all fit tests" as this may not be reasonable.

As ever this comes with caveat of this is my opinion and this is how I work it out, people will disagree but just make sure you can justify your choice!

A

safetyamateur  
#5 Posted : 12 October 2017 14:15:08(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
safetyamateur

No. This is all good stuff. Very much appreciated.

I take comfort in the fact that the guidance just insn't out there. Leaves me to decide on the period myself (Every 3.769 years, by the way).

Thanks again

ashleywillson  
#6 Posted : 12 October 2017 14:41:09(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
ashleywillson

Originally Posted by: safetyamateur Go to Quoted Post

 (Every 3.769 years, by the way).

Well calculated :P

A

Davey  
#7 Posted : 12 October 2017 14:55:24(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Davey

My advice would be to carry out a risk assessment on the task that you intend to complete focusing on frequency of use material that you are working with exposure limits etc.

This will assist you to determin the required re testing frequency and write this into your comapany procedure.

The previouse Work with materials containing asbestos Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 Approved Code of Practice and guidance Regulation 11 Stated

197 Repeat fit-testing will be needed when changing to a different model of RPE or a different sized face piece or if there have been significant changes to the facial characteristics of the individual wearer, eg as a result of significant weight gain or weight loss or due to dentistry. 198 It is good practice to have a system in place to ensure repeat fit-testing of RPE is carried out on a regular basis, eg annual testing for workers involved in licensed asbestos removal.

Elfin Davy 09  
#8 Posted : 12 October 2017 15:23:42(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Elfin Davy 09

....Or you could do it every 3.769 years  :-)

Sgallacher27  
#9 Posted : 12 October 2017 19:12:12(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Sgallacher27

Hi everyone, I hope this could help, even slightly. We recently had fit testing carried out by a tester who informed me he worked alongside the HSE to develop the original fit testing guidance and he also regularly meets with the HSE and speaks at seminars (apparently). Anyway, I asked him the exact question of how often re-testing should take place. Our guys periodically use Stihl Saws to cut concrete (RCS/Silica Dust exposure). He told me that "we'd be fine with re testing every two years unless something changes with an employee or we were receiving many complaints about respirators not fitting correctly". However, I'm unsure whether this is actually great advice or he was just touting for future business!
Users browsing this topic
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.