Full-face mask respirator - Healthy Working Lives

Full-face mask respirator

Full-face mask respirator 

​General information 

  • They are supplied in different shapes and sizes.
  • In general, respirators are made from flexible rubber or silicone material.
  • This type relies on the wearer's breathing to pull the air through the filter.
  • These masks have inlet and outlet valves which must be in good condition.
  • Full face masks are uncomfortable to wear continuously for more than 1 hour.
  • They can be cleaned and used many times, as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Full face masks cover the whole area of the face. Some makes are fitted with an inner half mask.
  • A full face mask can be fitted with particle filters, gas filters, vapour filters or a combination of gas, vapour and particle filters.
  • These respirators are adequate for light work (working work activity when seated) and medium work rate (work activity involving sustained hand and arm movements, or similar to brisk walking).

Do

  • Fit the straps as recommended.
  • Train users to use the RPE correctly.
  • Select the right size mask for each wearer.
  • Always fit two identical filters to a twin filter mask.
  • Change used filters at the manufacturer's recommended frequency
  • Ensure that wearers check the RPE fits correctly every time, as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Ensure you have the right filter(s) for the substance - particle or gas or vapour, or the required combination).
  • Fit-testing for each wearer is required when using this respiratory protective equipment (RPE) for the first time.

Don't 

  • Store in dirty areas between uses.
  • Make DIY modifications to the RPE.
  • Use a damaged respirator - mask, filters, straps or valves.
  • Damage or deform the mask, filters or straps when putting it away.
  • Use in oxygen-deficient atmospheres – for example confined spaces.
  • Use a P1 filter against fume unless recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Get dirt inside the mask, or use solvents to clean the mask, straps or filters.

Find out more

Go to our respiratory protective equipment (RPE) guidance​