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Dust Mask For Beards

Dust masks for men with beards

Dust masks are a very important part of many people’s personal protective equipment. Disposable dust masks come in many different types and are used for many different reasons.

Whether the wearer is working in an area where gases, fumes, dust or particulate is an issue, a mask can help protect them from the effects of the toxin or irritant.

Employers should ensure that they have different types of masks available so that the choice suits all staff. Many employees with facial hair will benefit from an enhanced choice of dust masks for beards so employers may have to hold stock of several different types as a result.

There is always the risk that a beard will affect the performance of the mask, which will in turn affect the wearer’s safety.

Generally men with stubble will find it easier to wear a mask effectively, and bearded staff should be encouraged to instead wear a respirator which does not require a tight face seal, such as a hood or battery driven mask.

Bulk dust masks are relatively cheap and easy to source, although the choice can be bewildering at first.

Masks are created to meet different requirements and can also vary in design. Many trades and professions stress in reviews and articles that it may be worth spending a little more money to get a good mask.

The JSP Force 8 range is highly regarded and versatile, with various interchangeable cartridges for different uses.

Disposable dust masks come in several different types. They are categorised by rating, with three different ratings to protect against respiratory hazards such as dust, powder, gas and chemical fumes.

The rating always starts with FFP, which stands for Filtering Face Plate. The description will generally include their OEL, or Occupational Exposure Limit, and their APF (Assumed Protection Factor).

It is usually the employer’s responsibility to provide the correct protection for their staff, but increasing numbers of people also choose to wear a mask when undertaking DIY projects at home.

When choosing a mask, the wearer should always perform a fit test and ensure that the mask is suitable for the hazards they wish to be protected against.

FFP1 masks are suitable for protection against low levels of dust and aerosols. They are generally used when hand sanding, drilling or cutting activity is undertaken, providing an OEL and APF of 4. This means they protect against materials in concentrations of 4 times the safe limit.

FFP2 masks provide moderate protection against dust and aerosols, and should be worn when plastering or sanding. Their OEL is 12 and their APF is 10.

FFP3 masks provide high levels of protection and are often seen in the pharmaceutical industry. This type of mask should be chosen when the wearer is unsure of the actual level of protection needed. They offer an OEL of 50 and an APF of 20. Better safe than sorry.

Dust masks are a small but vital item of PPE. According to the HSE, there are an estimated 12,000 deaths annually associated with respiratory hazards and around 18,000 new cases of self-reported work-related breathing or lung problems annually.

Using dust masks could prevent your employees from joining that number.

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