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DAG2  
#1 Posted : 19 May 2020 16:42:52(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
DAG2

Two questions.

1. Does anyone know if FFP masks that are issued to help protect from the Covid-19 virus actually spec'd for viruses? The normal classifications relate to vapour, particulates etc but does the Covid-19 virus fall out with these strict terms, if it does not have a 'particle size' as such? 

2. Also, again thinking legally, do the FFP masks / alcohol hand gel that are being rolled out in our workplaces fall out with the normal definition of industrial welfare items, in the sense that this virus does not itself arise from our (run of the mill - not laboratory work) industrial processes and the protection is effectively 'shared social protection', not merely a unique legal responsibility of the organisation?

Interestingly, I see that in the oil & gas industry, typical guidance that has been published mentions protective measures such as;

"Reducing staffing levels to the lowest possible number required to maintain the production of essential goods and,

"Considering how to minimise close contact through the use of shift systems, ceasing of non-essential tasks, and implementing social distancing in living, eating, and working premises".

....but the absence of the mention of PPE in the above is of interest. For instance, the anti-viral coated 'snood' that is provided to personnel travelling offshore by helicopter has been approved by the industry to ensure it is safe to use with the helicopter survival suit but no claim is passed on of its' effectiveness in what it does. It is not classed as FFP PPE in the industrial sense. 

Just looking to help state our position as a company to our staff regarding this subject. 

Any thoughts appreciated here. 

 

Kate  
#2 Posted : 19 May 2020 18:45:56(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

My understanding is that FFP masks protect against breathing in droplets emitted by coughing, etc.,  in which the virus may be present.  Many of these are in the size range that the mask is designed to filter out.  This is especially so when the wearer is close to the person emitting the droplets.  After the droplets are emitted their size is reduced by evaporation of water and it becomes harder to filter them out.  

I've read the oil & gas industry guidance and my understanding of the snood is that, like the face-coverings now promoted on public transport, it is to prevent the wearer emitting droplets in the enclosed space of the helicopter hence passing the virus on to others.  It is not to protect the wearer and thus is not PPE at all.

A good explanation is at:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000hvt6

Hand sanitiser is potentially a different matter.  The purely workplace risk here is that as part of their work tasks, the worker has to touch something that has been contaminated by someone else also doing a work task.  Subsequently they are likely to touch their own face and hence may become infected.

Roundtuit  
#3 Posted : 19 May 2020 19:43:13(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Fitted masks are not designed to control the actual virus.

Where the organisation has decided they are a control measure because other available controls are limited e.g. an inability to social distance then it falls upon the company, not the individual, to ensure they are fit for purpose, correctly used and supplied free of charge.

For hand gels the company can provide this or put in place suitable and sufficient hand washing facilities to permit regular cleaning (don't perceive many companies adding lots of sinks/hand dryers/towel dispensers etc. throughout their premises).

Interesting slant to try and push provision of any equipment to the employee cost - unfortunately if you want them in work whilst a pandemic is occurring the concept of a shared social protection issue is more correctly  associated with the common cold or influenza.

Employers have always been, and still are, legally responsible for welfare in their UK facilities.

Edited by user 19 May 2020 20:24:31(UTC)  | Reason: slant

Roundtuit  
#4 Posted : 19 May 2020 19:43:13(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Fitted masks are not designed to control the actual virus.

Where the organisation has decided they are a control measure because other available controls are limited e.g. an inability to social distance then it falls upon the company, not the individual, to ensure they are fit for purpose, correctly used and supplied free of charge.

For hand gels the company can provide this or put in place suitable and sufficient hand washing facilities to permit regular cleaning (don't perceive many companies adding lots of sinks/hand dryers/towel dispensers etc. throughout their premises).

Interesting slant to try and push provision of any equipment to the employee cost - unfortunately if you want them in work whilst a pandemic is occurring the concept of a shared social protection issue is more correctly  associated with the common cold or influenza.

Employers have always been, and still are, legally responsible for welfare in their UK facilities.

Edited by user 19 May 2020 20:24:31(UTC)  | Reason: slant

chris.packham  
#5 Posted : 20 May 2020 09:33:28(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris.packham

Perhaps the following is relevant in the discussion re hand washing vs alcohol sanitiser:

“The study revealed that touching intact areas of moist skin transferred enough organisms to the nurses’ hands to allow subsequent transmission to catheter material despite handwashing with plain soap and water; by contrast, alcohol-based handrubbing was effective and prevented crosstransmission to the device.” – WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care, page 22

Also alcohol sanitiser is quicker, often more convenient and does not damage the skin. Hand washing should be relegated to the situations where alcohol sanitiser will not work, specifically where the hands are visibly soiled with organic matter or for non-enveloped viruses (e.g. norovirus), spores (c.difficile is one example). When hands are washed it is essential that after rinsing and drying a moisturising lotion is applied. (Note lotion, not cream)

DAG2  
#6 Posted : 20 May 2020 12:24:33(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
DAG2

Roundtuit -

Regarding your comment "Interesting slant to try and push provision of any equipment to the employee cost...". Not sure if you thought that the question had that agenda behind it. It didn't! 

thanks 1 user thanked DAG2 for this useful post.
stevedm on 21/05/2020(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#7 Posted : 20 May 2020 19:42:20(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Just getting very cynical with "the man".

Sadiq Khan he has issued a blatant request to London shops to make available "re-usable" face coverings for sale to use on London Transport - sorry if you want me to wear a mask then provide it FOC.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 21/05/2020(UTC), A Kurdziel on 21/05/2020(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#8 Posted : 20 May 2020 19:42:20(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Just getting very cynical with "the man".

Sadiq Khan he has issued a blatant request to London shops to make available "re-usable" face coverings for sale to use on London Transport - sorry if you want me to wear a mask then provide it FOC.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 21/05/2020(UTC), A Kurdziel on 21/05/2020(UTC)
stevedm  
#9 Posted : 21 May 2020 11:51:17(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

..there is a clear difference from a mask in the H&S world and face covering...don't confuse them to make an argument...it is clear that if you wish to protect the wider community from the possiblity that you may be a carrier then you, for the good of the community, take action.....simple really..

the use of a mask (surgical or FFP) will provide some defence to the inhalation of droplest atomised by sneezing coughing etc..the Lancet published a review of 400 of the early cases in China whoch does firmly support active social distancing and face covering in public...my personal opinion it is still too early to be doing active social integration face covering or not..the legal application will fall down to the risk assessment that you have conducted and the due diligence on where you have purchased your PPE from...

DAG2  
#10 Posted : 22 May 2020 21:45:33(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
DAG2

Thanks to all.
craigroberts76  
#11 Posted : 26 May 2020 21:58:48(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
craigroberts76

a correctly fitted FFP1 mask (we use half face) will filter out 95% of viruses, the same as a N95 and Surgical mask.  A cloth mask filters 0%, however there is a little scientific evidence that wearing anything "may" reduce the bloom of vapour should you cough or sneeze.

toe  
#12 Posted : 27 May 2020 08:34:12(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
toe

Originally Posted by: craigroberts76 Go to Quoted Post

a correctly fitted FFP1 mask (we use half face) will filter out 95% of viruses, the same as a N95 and Surgical mask.  A cloth mask filters 0%, however there is a little scientific evidence that wearing anything "may" reduce the bloom of vapour should you cough or sneeze.


Many FFP(?) masks have exhale exhaust vents fitted and are not as effective as surgical masks.

John Murray  
#13 Posted : 04 June 2020 16:30:20(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
John Murray

Originally Posted by: toe Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: craigroberts76 Go to Quoted Post

a correctly fitted FFP1 mask (we use half face) will filter out 95% of viruses, the same as a N95 and Surgical mask.  A cloth mask filters 0%, however there is a little scientific evidence that wearing anything "may" reduce the bloom of vapour should you cough or sneeze.


Many FFP(?) masks have exhale exhaust vents fitted and are not as effective as surgical masks.

They are very effective at protecting the wearer.

Surgical facemasks are not.

https://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr619.pdf

John Murray  
#14 Posted : 04 June 2020 16:34:53(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
John Murray

  • Masks are loose fitting, covering the nose and mouth
  • Designed for one way protection, to capture bodily fluid leaving the wearer
  • Example – worn during surgery to prevent coughing, sneezing, etc on the vulnerable patient
  • Contrary to belief, masks are NOT designed to protect the wearer
  • The vast majority of masks do not have a safety rating assigned to them (e.g. NIOSH or EN)
https://fastlifehacks.com/n95-vs-ffp/
stevedm  
#15 Posted : 09 June 2020 08:41:50(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

...didn't want to start ANOTHER COVID -19 thread so posting this link here ....it may not help everyone as the target audience is medical but it is a good reference...on the decontamination and reuse of masks and respirators

https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/Options-for-shortage-of-surgical-masks-and-respirators.pdf

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