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Minimise the spread of COVID-19; understanding the use of face coverings, facemasks and respirators

15th July 2020

Mass adoption of face coverings are an essential part of a control approach to minimise transmission of COVID-19. Mandatory use is now required in many situations. However, where use is not mandated, merely recommended, there is partial compliance due partly to a limited understanding of the differences and functions of face coverings, facemasks and respirators.

At the SOM, we have collaborated with the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM), British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) and Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF) to develop a downloadable and printable guide for employers and the public to help identify and understand the use of face coverings, facemasks and disposable respirators. We are urging people to share and print this poster so employees across the UK understand the differences between face coverings, facemasks and respirators.

To access, view and share the guidance click here. A PDF version can be accessed here.

SOM, IOM, BOHS and CIEHF are advocating for better awareness about the differences between the various types of masks, how they work, how effective they are and why they should be used. We believe that without the education and awareness journey, the UK will struggle to realise the benefits that countries across Europe see following the implementation of mandatory policies for the widespread use of facemasks.