5 Reasons Why Respiratory Protective Equipment Should Be Tested With An AccuFIT Quantitative Fit Test Device
Face fit testing is an essential part of ensuring the safety and comfort of workers who wear respiratory protective equipment (RPE).
A widely used particle-counting quantitative fit testing device on the market is the AccuFIT, a device that helps ensure RPE masks are correctly fitted and provide adequate protection.
In this article, we’ll explore what AccuFIT is, how it works, and why it’s important for health and safety directors to consider using a quantitative device for all RPE fit testing.
What Is Quantitative Face Fit Testing Equipment?
A quantitative face fit testing device is a machine designed to quickly and accurately measure how well a respirator mask fits on an individual's head and face. It works by measuring the gaps between a mask's seal points and the wearer's facial features – in terms of the particle density within and without the mask – using an Ambient Particle Counting (APC) quantitative analysis method. The result is a numerical output that reports or quantifies how well the mask fits the wearer, allowing real-time adjustments.
The process ensures that masks are properly fitted so they provide adequate protection against airborne contaminants while identifying any leakages that could compromise the safety of the mask wearer. AccuFIT uses condensing nuclei counting (CNC) technology to detect microscopic particles and so leaks into the mask – it has inbuilt and programmable testing protocols that measure the results against the HSE or other standards for RPE testing.
Quantitative Vs Qualitative Face Fit Testing
The alternative to quantitative testing is qualitative testing.
A qualitative test requires the user to detect the presence of particles in a solution to determine how effectively the mask fits the wearer, usually by taste. We will cover the benefits and drawbacks of qualitative versus quantitative testing in a subsequent blog article. However, the main drawback of qualitative testing, and why a quantitative fit testing device is normally superior in terms of accuracy, is the dependence of qualitative testing on subjective taste detection in the subject, which can vary considerably between individuals and even between times of the day.
Advantages Of The AccuFIT
The biggest advantage of AccuFIT over traditional face fit testing methods, and other competing quantitative fit testing devices is its accuracy and applicability for UK users. The AccuFIT 9000 series delivers precise measurements with a fast set-up time, reducing your downtime and giving you greater assurance that your respirator masks are being fitted to ensure adequate levels of protection and HSE compliance.
AccuFIT can be used with any type or style of a respirator mask, which makes it much very versatile. With its real-time data analysis capabilities, you get a safety record for each mask, a fit testing accountability chain that allows you to identify equipment faults, and training requirements among staff while guaranteeing full compliance and safety.
One of the biggest safety risks with RPE testing methods is a ‘false pass’. AccuFIT avoids this risk by basing its quantitative results exclusively on the presence of naturally occurring particles. A test will not proceed if there are not sufficient ambient particles to produce an accurate result. Fortunately, AccuFIT is extraordinarily sensitive – capable of detecting particles as small as 0.015 µm – making it very rare indeed that tests are void due to insufficient data points. You will receive an automated error message warning if the particle count is too low or too high to deliver an accurate result, allowing you to abort the test and minimise the risk of a false pass.
AccuFIT delivers immediate results, enabling the user to adjust the fit of the mask in real time, retesting with each adjustment until a satisfactory fit is obtained. This means that a poorly fitting mask can be identified straight away, reducing downtime, and the number of test failures and avoiding the implementation of a poorly fitting mask.
The AccuFIT 9000 is designed to be easy to use, with a short learning curve for efficient and accurate use. The device can be used and set up straight out of the box in as little as two minutes and can be powered by either a mains electric supply or an external battery pack.
Unlike some devices, with its integral full-colour touchscreen, AccuFIT can also be used independently of a PC, tablet, or laptop, allowing standalone use in remote applications without the presence of a computer. Test data can be stored on a USB memory stick and can be transferred to a PC or cloud storage facility at the user’s convenience, or sent to a printer to be made into a paper test report straight away for your records.
Find Out More
The AccuFIT 9000 series is available in two versions – Standard and Pro – with the capacity to measure all respirator masks, including FFP1 and FFP2, as well as the more common FFP3 masks. If you’d like to know more about quantitative testing or how to deliver the most accurate results for your RPE fit testing strategy, please get in touch or call one of our experienced RPE specialists today on 01743 761000.
Purchase The AccuFIT
You can also purchase AccuFIT 9000 devices and supporting equipment directly from our Fire Safe International online shop. Click here to view product specifications,
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