Safety Groups UK

Effect of facial hair on respirator face seal

Demonstrating respirator faceseal leak at a construction site - Wates Group

A tightfitting respirator wearer should achieve a good face seal between the face and the respirator seal every time the respirator is worn and used. Some workers do not pay good attention to this requirement.

To politely remind the importance, Wates Group constructed a life-size LOcHER demonstrator for citing at the main entrance to a construction site (see photo below). This demonstrator also exhibited the US-National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) poster to remind users what types of facial hair may be acceptable when wearing a tightfitting respirator. This was considered a polite way of communicating (post training) with multicultural workforce.

The demonstrator was painted yellow to catch the attention of the workers as they enter the site and were encouraged to do the “face seal” experiment.

The approach used here, is known as “nudging” and a good way to provide a polite reminder of the need to fit respirators correctly. It was found that the company employees and subcontractors liked the positive approach.

This demonstrator can be moved from one site to another.