03 Dec 2015
FACE FIT RESPIRATORS
The HSE have recently announced that stubble growth when wearing protective masks can result in an increase in the quantity of inward leakage.
In other words, if the respirator does not have a good seal against the face, the worker is liable to breath in more hazardous dust – of up to 25% more after 7 days growth.
In addition, excess stubble can cause irreparable damage to the mask itself, and so the mask may become defective and not provide an adequate seal (and level of protection) when re-used even if the operative is clean-shaven
So, employers should be checking that operatives are clean-shaven when they carry out an activity where a face fit mask must be used. Failure is likely to lead to enforcement action by the HSE where breaches of this requirement are found during routine inspections.