We are halfway into President Biden’s 100-day Mask Challenge. As a manager, you ensured your employees met mask regulations long before the challenge was issued. They learned to express certain emotions to each other using only their eyes months ago, this isn’t new to them, or to you.
When cloth masks were first encouraged for public & industrial use by the CDC, better alternatives were in short supply. Even medical staff reported the reuse of disposable PPE just to ensure they had minimal protection. In an impressively short period of time, that has changed.
It’s time for the industrial sector to improve its mask choices. In conjunction with vaccinations, the continued use of PPE is going to be critical. To reinforce these efforts, the industrial sector can make a significant contribution to reducing the spread (and keeping their workers healthy) with one simple effort: Improve employee mask choices.
At Martin Technical, we know safety. We began sourcing FDA approved masks and making them available for medical facilities and businesses early in the pandemic. We want to keep you informed of the best options. Not sure where to start? Learn more about the hierarchy of masks below.
The Hierarchy of Masks: A Full House of Safety
While any mask is better than no mask, peak mask use it isn’t as simple as throwing a bandana over your nose and mouth. Both filtration and fit are important. An additional key factor is to use disposable masks, disposing of the product based on CDC/WHO guidelines. Companies can improve employee compliance by providing your facility with 5-packs of masks, i.e. one work-week.
For Medical Providers
The N95: Our High Ace
At this time, the CDC recommends N95’s be reserved for Medical Staff. The N95 is NIOSH approved, with a 95%+ filtration and an excellent fit when donned properly. These should be used by trained staff, regularly exposed to high-risk situations and populations. The public and non-medical facilities are discouraged from purchasing these masks, not only to reserve them for medical use, but to avoid accidental purchase of counterfeit products.
For Non-Medical Users
The KN95: The King/Queen of Masks
For non-medical users, KN95 will be your top choice. Your employees won’t be missing out on filtration efficiency or fit with this mask. KN95s are similar to the N95 in appearance, have the same efficiency of 95%+, and can fit equally well when donned properly. The FDA approves them for use in place of N95’s for medical staff when necessary.
Unlike the N95 as this time, KN95 are encouraged for public use. However, when purchasing KN95’s, managers should be cautious. Always buy through a trusted seller or reseller. Avoid online sellers that don’t have safety as their core focus in their business, as these can often be home to counterfeit products. Martin Technical has these masks available in bulk, coming in packs of 5. You can contact us here to receive a quote. Always purchase from a company you trust when sourcing your masks.
3-Ply Surgical Earloop: Your Knight in Shining Armor
Underneath the KN95, 3-Ply Surgical Earloop masks are an excellent second choice for industrial and daily mask use. They sport a similar filtration efficiency to KN95 and N95, however they tend to fit less well than KN95. However, when KN95 aren’t available, Earloops are your best option. Like the KN95, there has been an increase in counterfeit products due to demand of these masks. Purchase through a trusted source when buying these masks.
Cloth: Your Jack of All Trades
Cloth masks were our first defense against this pandemic. Early on, when the above options weren’t available, we used these to prevent spread. However, cotton face masks are only estimated to have 50% filtration efficiency. Cloth masks are and always will be better than no mask. However, whenever possible, we should use the above options over these to reduce the spread of the virus.
Improve Your Mask Use
Commit to improving your facility’s mask use today. Rather than have workers provide their own cloth masks, contact a trusted company to source KN95 or Surgical Earloop masks today. You can easily receive a quote for KN95 or Surgical Earloop masks by contacting Martin Technical at 866-234-6890 or emailing Sales@MarTechnical.com