Face fit testing is essential for industries such as construction workers. Now, more than ever, companies need to ensure that staff are safe in the workplace. RPE (Respiratory Protective Equipment) should be used to protect wearers from airborne hazards.  This is vital for workers who are exposed to dust particles and hazardous gases. Similarly, it is  needed for those in the hospitality sector dealing with cleaning chemicals.

However, recent research has shown that around 50% of RPE used does not offer the wearer the level of protection assumed.

People come in all sorts of shapes and sizes it is unlikely that one type or size of RPE mask will fit everyone. Therefore, a worker cannot assume that buy purchasing an RPE mask that this will cover them.

A face fit test will help ensure that the RPE selected is suitable for the wearer and provides adequate protection. We offer two types of face fit testing: qualitative (taste test) and quantitative (particle counting).


Quantitative face fit testing uses a machine to measure leakage into face piece. Mostly used for full face respirators. Can be used for any tight fitting respirator. No taste or smell test used to detect leakage.

Quantitative Testing

Quantitative testing is used for tight fitting respirators such as full-face masks. Angie would use a particle counting machine that will detect whether airborne particles are entering into the mask through the seal.

Qualitative Testing

Qualitative testing is used to determine the seal quality of disposable half-masks and relies on the persons sense of taste to determine the effectiveness. The tester will spray a solution into the mask and ask the customer if they can identify it. If they can, the seal is not fitted correctly!

Due to COVID-19 we are currently unable to offer qualitative testing due to social distancing. However, we hope to re-introduce this at a later date.

Qualitative face fit testing used for half-masks and disposable face masks. Uses sense of smell/taste or reaction to irritant to detect leaks.

You can contact our PPE advisor Angela Fry at: Angela.fry@macgregorsupplies.co.uk. We offer testing on-site or at our premises across our branches in Inverness, Elgin, Portree, Stornoway, Kirkwall, & Aberdeen.