The decision on the appropriate protective clothing (PPE) to be worn onsite, or in different areas of the site, is the responsibility of the site and should be based on national guidance or legislation.
Where a site chooses to use face masks in production areas, this is acceptable to the requirements of the Standard. The following guidance should be considered:
- Use of face masks should be in accordance with national or regional legislation or regulatory authority guidance.
- When used in production areas, face masks should be treated as PPE, and the site will therefore need appropriate procedures including guidance on correct usage, cleaning, storage, etc. (Obviously, the exact guidance will depend on whether the chosen face masks are reusable or disposable).
- It is unlikely that reusable face masks can be sent through a laundry process and therefore clause 7.4.6 applies – the site will need a procedure for cleaning / sanitizing at an appropriate frequency.
- High risk and high care areas will need to consider processes for these areas – ideally dedicated face masks would be used in these areas (as with other PPE) however, where this is genuinely not possible, for example due to the current shortages in suitable masks, then they should be treated in accordance with clause 8.3.3 and a specific cleaning/transfer process is required.
- It is not recommended that staff bring their own face masks into production areas, as sites are unlikely to be able to prevent contamination.