The country is beginning to reopen for business and employers are taking precautionary measures to provide a safe workplace for their employees and customers.
One of the CDC recommendations to protect against the contagion of COVID-19, is the use of face masks. But purchasing masks can be quite confusing. Between the emergence of new sellers that have come out of the blue, people sharing their fiascos on social media in their purchases, plus the information on the effectiveness of masks changing every day, there is so much going on pulling in different directions.
Truth be told, just a couple of months ago we knew very little about face masks, but the world has changed rapidly and we did our homework to make sure we provide quality products and guidance that our clients have come to expect from us. Lucky for us, our trusted suppliers pivoted to the manufacturing of these much-needed items, so we avoid any and all fly by night sellers at all costs.
There are three types of face masks based on the level of protection that they provide to the person who is wearing it and those in close proximity to them. While work environments differ and the risks may vary to some extent, knowing which type of face mask is more appropriate for your workplace is key.
Let’s take a look at the differences between face masks and what you need to know.
1. Disposable Face Mask
A disposable face mask is made with 3 layers of non woven material including a high-density filtration layer and is for single use. Our disposable masks are FDA approved and can be ordered blank or printed with your logo.
These masks help block large-particle droplets that may contain viruses and bacteria from entering through the mouth and nose.
They must be discarded properly after every use, and hands must be washed after removal using soap and water.
2. N95 and KN95 Face Masks
The N 95 and KN95 masks offer the most protection. They are currently considered critical supplies reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders by the CDC.
The KN95 are made in China and are the equivalent to the N95 masks used in the US. They have a high filtration system, which can prevent approximately 95% of small particles from entering your mouth or nose. They are fitted to the face for an airtight seal and high protection and they have a breathing valve.
The KN95 masks were recently approved by The FDA for usage for the KN95 when the N95 masks are not available.
The CDC does not recommend the use of these masks to the general public.
3. Cloth Face Masks
Cloth masks limit the spread of germs and are currently recommended by the CDC to be worn in public places. These masks are available in many types of fabrics and can be customized with your company logo and even printed all over with your custom design.
It is important that these masks must be washed after each use, so you may want to give your employees a set of 3-5 masks.
These masks are not a replacement for the N95 mask or KN95 mask and are not medical grade.
These masks come in a variety of styles, fabrics, and materials, such as these
Getting Your Employees to Use The Masks Properly
Let’s be honest, we are not used to wearing masks. Make sure you give your staff guidelines on the use, disposal, and washing of the masks using signage and printed materials, and even printing on the masks themselves if it makes sense.
Just like with the rest of the precautionary measures you’re implementing, educating your employees on these new policies is the key to success. Just like when you are trying to instill a new habit, a lot of reminder repetition will be needed.
As the situation with the pandemic continues to evolve, employee safety guidelines are likely to also keep changing in this unprecedented situation, so it’s important that you stay informed.
We hope this information has helped you clarify the difference in the types of masks and which ones are more appropriate for your team.
If you have any questions, let’s talk. We are here to answer them and to help you in any way we can get the face masks that make more sense for your work situation.