The HSE are concentrating on the “health” aspect of health & safety. In particular, they have been pushing the need for formal “Face Fit” testing of respirators amongst a workforce.
This test involves the test subject wearing the respirator, followed by a hood through which a foul tasting (but non-harmful!) mist is sprayed. The test subject is then asked to do a series of exercisers including talking bending and stretching. If the subject can taste the mist, then the respirator does not fit properly.
This will enable the employer to provide the correct size and shape of respirator to fit the individual characteristics of the employees’ face.
There are several companies that will carry out the testing for you including those that supply the respirators. And we would recommend that this be done.
We know that the HSE have been issuing improvement notices for this during farm visits.