N95 Respirators: What You Need to Know

With Covid-19 going nowhere, many employers have no choice but to open for business and ask their employees to return. Ensuring all relevant precautions are in place, including the necessity of wearing masks, can prevent an outbreak that can close those doors indefinitely. This is where the N95 disposable mask, aka n95 respirators, can prove invaluable.

What is an N95 Mask?

The N95 mask is a disposable mask or mini respirator that can protect your employees from breathing in not only harmful particles such as mold and dust but also the Covid-19 virus. These masks are preferred by most people since they form a complete seal around the nose and mouth. It is designed to keep at least 95 percent of particles that are present in the air, both large and small.

The N95 is one of the different types of half-mask filtering dust masks that have higher efficiencies compared to standard face masks such as surgical masks. While it is perfect when it comes to protecting employees in the workplace against diseases, it is insufficient for protection against low oxygen environments, carbon monoxide, lead, fumes, asbestos and gases.

The label on the mask will help you determine which one you should recommend for your employees.

What to Get

Your employees should only use N95 masks that are certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). They can determine if they have authentic masks by checking for the NIOSH logo and the test and certification or TC number. This can be found on the mask or on the packaging it comes in.

N95 masks that are not NIOSH certified cannot protect your employees adequately, which can lead to an outbreak. Certified masks are available in local stores and in-home improvement centers as well.

How to Wear the N95 Mask

The N95 respirator or mask should cover the nose and the mouth completely to prevent dust, mold and viruses from entering the lungs. A snug fit is important, or it will not work. It has to be in contact with smooth skin, so it will not work for people who have beards or facial hair. Even a day-old beard can compromise the mask’s integrity and allow air in. Plus, both straps of the n95 respirator should hold it in place securely to keep air from leaking.

You should always protect your business against liabilities. Recovering from a lawsuit can take years or it can derail your business. Whether your employees follow the mask mandate in the workplace or not, as a business owner, get in touch with us at SIA Insurance Group for a consultation today.

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