Two sisters, who are providing essential fit testing of face masks for frontline NHS staff are the first women in Northern Ireland to gain accreditation by the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) Fit2Fit scheme. Orla and Shauna Ryan of NIRPE (Northern Ireland Respiratory Protective Equipment) felt it was essential to gain the Fit2Fit accreditation to demonstrate the level of skill, knowledge and training needed to provide the safest possible service to NHS staff and other industries requiring tight face fitting respirators NIRPE Product Specialist Orla Ryan said: “Covid-19 has really emphasised the need for the highest standards of respiratory protection to protect frontline staff and the BSIF qualification is a marker of competency and professionalism.

We want our key workers to feel safe when they are working daily to save the lives of infected patients.”NIRPE’s Commercial Director Shauna Ryan added: “We are delighted to have achieved this accreditation for quantitative face fit testing. We invested in this division of the business 18 months ago, long before anyone had heard of Covid 19. This qualification cements a lot of training and hard work and will assist in further reinforcing the high standard of service we bring to our clients in respect of their employee respiratory protection plans.”

NIRPE is providing an essential service for health trusts to ensure that their staff have been individually assessed to identify the correct model of tight fitting face respirator, which matches the wearer’s facial features and provides a suitable seal to ensure safety in the workplace.

It is a legal requirement that all employees required to wear tight-fitting facepieces, in any industry, must be fit tested by a competent person before first initial use, as detailed in CoSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) regulations.

NIRPE is a wholly owned subsidiary of the HealthCare Essentials Group of companies, located at Ards Business Hub in Newtownards, which has been providing surgical and medical equipment to the local healthcare industry for the past 12 years.

NIRPE is providing its services to both healthcare and other industries in which face fit testing is required.

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