Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)
  • Best masks for personal protection
  • loum
    Free Member

    Hi,
    Looking for a bit of advice on mask wearing for covid protection.
    I understand the “face covering” is first and foremost to protect others from my breath. If we all do it, we reduce spread by protecting each other from ourselves.
    What I’d like here is any recommendations for masks designed to protect the wearer, as PPE. I think the classifications are ffp2 and ffp3, and that they act as a seal and filter for the way in, so protect the wearer.
    I know they can be bought as disposable masks, or reusable respirator s.
    Is anyone using one daily that they recommend?
    Anything comfortable?
    Or anything to avoid?

    Ideally I’d like it to be as unobtrusive as possible, preferably smaller not gas mask size, and not too Bane.
    Going to be in a school classroom of thirty three, with most not wearing masks, coming off the back of shielding for most of the year due to chemo. Any recommendations?

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Can I ask what your employer’s risk assessment shows? In your particular circumstances, I think the onus is on them.

    At both my kids school/college, vulnerable staff are working/teaching remotely (and masks for pupils are compulsory at the sixth form college)

    ivorlott
    Free Member

    Cambridge Mask here. Basic mask FFP2 and Pro FFP3, pretty comfy to wear over long periods, includes a headstrap to reduce ear chaffing, do have a valve, but think they are still supplying a valve deactivator with all masks currently.

    loum
    Free Member

    The risk assessment says I should be working remotely where possible. If it is not possible, I should attend. That is in line with current government guidelines.
    Remote working (online marking) has been possible whilst there has been classes off isolating. It looks like that’s coming to an end.
    The school has said it will supply PPE if needed. It is the employers legal responsibility, after all.
    I’d prefer to make sure I got the best PPE solution I could , happy to buy it myself if I need to. Could always ask afterwards with a receipt.

    loum
    Free Member

    Thanks ivorlott

    oakleymuppet
    Free Member

    Go in in a positive pressure suit for the lolz.

    igm
    Full Member

    On second thoughts, that wasn’t helpful.

    Kahurangi
    Full Member

    … classroom of thirty three, with most not wearing masks

    I think your employer also should help improve this although with schools you might not get very far.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    Cambridge Mask here.

    that website looks like grade-A bullshit pseudo-science. Does it actually stop covid-19? Even their FAQ section does not give a straight answer so I guess not! Also re. the valve thing, a few people have come into my workplace wearing valved masks, they have been told to **** off pretty rapidly 🤣

    tjagain
    Full Member

    ffp3 masks are the ones that offer a high level of protection to you. However you really need a fit test on them and different manufacturers fit differently

    This is your employers responsibility to sort out and you should have an individual risk assessment IMO. what does your union H&S rep say?

    jonba
    Free Member

    What TJ says – having worked in the chemicals industry wearing these things on a daily basis face fit is vital. Some just didn’t fit me in the tests and offered limited protection.

    They also need to be snug/tight which is why you see the nurses with red rings when they’ve been in them for hours.

    If you can’t get face fitted then the silicone ones were more universal. I only know of one person who failed the face fit for a 3m 4277.

    Oh you need to be clean shaven. I would fail the test with a 5pm shadow.

    falkirk-mark
    Full Member

    My understanding is an N95 mask but without the valve
    (edit just noticed the N95 is the ffp2)

    grahamt1980
    Full Member

    As tj and others have said you need an ffp3 with face fit for the best protection. Trouble is most ffp3 have an exhaust vent which makes them a little antisocial.
    I managed to get one with a cap that blocks the exhaust vent. Only wear it in shops though

    franksinatra
    Full Member

    FFP3 needs to be face fit tested, in health and social care these are only needed for people undertaking aerosol generating procedures (CPR, tracheostomy, dentists drilling etc). If they are not face fit tested then they are no more use than any other mask. FFP3 is way overkill for everyday use.

    For everyone else including nurses on covid wards, care staff etc Type II R Fluid Resistant Surgical mask is the standard needed. You should look for EN14683 standard. This is what I think you are looking for.

    To be very honest though, the best ways to reduce risk is not to upgrade the mask but to be aware of good donning and doffing process making sure you are minimising hand / face contact and cleaning hands at appropriate points when donning or doffing.

    * I’m responsible for all PPE for a local authority including all of our social care workers. I know my way around this area pretty well now.

    cromolyolly
    Free Member

    N95/ffp2 but even it should be fitted. You also need to be incredibly clean shaven where the mask fits, otherwise it’s pointless.

    franksinatra
    Full Member

    N95/ffp2 but even it should be fitted. You also need to be incredibly clean shaven where the mask fits, otherwise it’s pointless.

    Given that these masks are not even used routinely on COVID wards, it is probably overkill to suggest they are needed in a classroom, even with the additional risks noted by the OP

    honeybadgerx
    Full Member

    Open the windows if you can, increased air changes within a room helps reduce risk. If you can’t do this a lot of plants helps with this and also increases humidity which covid doesn’t like.

    loum
    Free Member

    Thanks all, for the advice.
    It’s clearer now that it should be their responsibility.
    It’s a school, so there’s no real history of managing this sort of thing, using PPE, or full risk assessment and method statement style working.
    Far from the chemical industry for experience.
    But, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be sitting it out now that there is a health risk in the workplace.

    I’ll take the 3m 4277 tip and start from there. And try to get them to organise face fit testing and supply.

    Thanks again. I’m probably thinking a little straighter after your replies.

    Edit. And thanks for the further advice would I was typing, Frank and Badger. Will look up Type II R Fluid Resistant Surgical mask.

    Scienceofficer
    Free Member

    these are only needed for people undertaking aerosol generating procedures

    Of which coughing and sneezing are both.

    You can get pre-formed FFP3 disposables that have a rubberised face seal. Like everything with a filter that small, the risk is short circuiting the edges of the mask due to the resistance from the filter.

    This is why getting a face fit test is important, otherwise, you just don’t know if you’re being protected or not.

    Tallpaul
    Full Member

    I can’t really understand why you need to go in to the classroom at all.

    Are you meant to be presenting? Bare in mind that the proper fit and efficacy of these masks goes out of the window when you’re trying to talk loudly enough for a class of 33 to hear you through them!

    cromolyolly
    Free Member

    Given that these masks are not even used routinely on COVID wards

    Depends where you are. Plenty of places are using n95 in A&E and full face respirators w/ positive patients. A lot of those decisions were based on supply availability, not HSE requirements/assessments. N95 or better is what will protect the wearer acceptably. Non woven 2 layer is almost as good.
    Everything is basically to stop the wearer from transmitting, not to protect wearer.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Do you have to be inside?

    I’ve 9 staff in schools daily, we only go indoors for the loo. We’re an outdoor learning and play organisation, but it’s amazing what you can do outdoors if needed. Worlf Health Organisation confirm outdoors plus handwashing is about as good as it gets. Add a mask in, and you will be fine.

    We have gazebo or tipi or tarp if needed for shelter.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    are you still immunocompromised? If so then you really need a specific risk assessment for you. If i was immunocompromised I think I would be staying in my house!

    finephilly
    Free Member

    Best thing to do is get 33 other people to wear masks and leave the windows open. Who knows whether kids transmit COVID?

    Oh, these guys might:
    https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/146/2/e2020004879

    loum
    Free Member

    I am still immunocompromised.
    Not as bad as I was, but unlikely to have fully functioning immune system. Latest chat with the Oncologist has said the blood counts are back up towards normal but he says the cells may not be expected to behave as effectively as a normal immune system. He’s happy to say to me that I’m not as severely critically extremely vulnerable as I was in summer/autumn. But also that I’m still on the shielding list – which is also known as the list of critically extremely vulnerable.
    It feels like a bit of a grey area where I’m far stronger than I was, blood count is up, and in a normal year I could return to the classroom (standard practice is chemo plus three months). But because it’s a new virus they don’t have enough evidence of safety to take a decision to take me off shielding.

    Matt, that sounds awesome and something I’d love to do. Unfortunately, it’s not the job I’ve got, I’m an LSA. Classroom based, primary y6. School have been supportive. But there is no real experience in risk assessment or safety management – it’s not what they’ve done before. So far everything has been by done by the current government guidelines. That says work from home if possible, if not possible you should attend. Home working has been possible due to work being available marking online for isolating classes but they are all going back in now. Feels like it’s a step I’ve got to take as well for myself. My treatment has gone well, chemo and surgery, moving to active surveillance so I need to try working towards a life after cancer. Just got to do it as safely as possible.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    are you still immunocompromised?

    Mrs_oab is. Covid age of 70 (she’s 45) on a weak loading for her immune disorder. In January she has a birthday, magically transporting her into the most severe category for shielding.

    She’s in nursery daily with 50+ kids.

    She wears a mask indoors and tries to keep clear of parents.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    But there is no real experience in risk assessment or safety management – it’s not what they’ve done before.

    Happy to share our CV risk assessment.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    But there is no real experience in risk assessment or safety management – it’s not what they’ve done before.

    this is their responsibility to sort. No experience is not an excuse. If they do not have the ability in house then they need to get somone in. Are you in a union – if not join one. The union should have an H&S rep as should the school.

    Its the employers legal responsibility to ensure safe working conditions.

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)

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