Safety Services


How to put on a facepiece or mask

Correct fitting of facepieces at all times is vital to prevent exposure. You should carry out a fit-check every time you wear a facepiece to make sure it is effective.

Fit test vs. Fit check

Face Fit testing should be carried out during the initial selection of RPE, before being worn in a hazardous environment, and is carried out by trained and experienced departmental face fit testers. A fit-check is the practice of the wearer checking their respirator for fit every time it is used. 

It is important that you only use the model of facepiece that has been fitted to you. If you use different RPE for different tasks, make sure you are using the right RPE for the task.

Pre-use checks for respirators

  • You should be clean-shaven around the face seal to achieve an effective fit when using disposable respirators. Beards and stubble (even one day's growth) will stop the disposable respirator from sealing to your face and protecting you properly
  • Make sure you are using the disposable respirator that you are fit tested for – have you passed a face fit test for this model?
  • Make sure the disposable respirator is clean and undamaged before you use it – check the straps for perishing, breaks, tears and loss of elasticity
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for checking the disposable respirator and putting it on
  • Check the fit every time you put on the disposable respirator to ensure there are no leaks

Reusable respirators

The following poster gives guidance on how to put on reusable respirators and how to do a pre-use seal check or fit check.

Fitting Half-mask correctly - fit around the nose, clean shaven, straps in place, check the filters are attached correctly, edges tight, chin snug.

Disposable respirators

The following poster and video give guidance on how to put on disposable respirators and how to do a pre-use seal check or fit check.

> HSE – Using Disposable Respirators (poster)

Using Disposable Respirators

Using Disposable Respirators02

> HSE – Putting on respirators and fit checking (video)

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xnh2ussDxig

Maintenance and storage

You must follow the instructions given to you during your face fit test on the correct storage of your facepiece and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Last updated: Thursday, September 30, 2021