COVID-19 control measures that use masks
A mask is a piece of equipment that covers the wearer’s nose, mouth and chin. It is fixed to the face with straps, ties or elastic, either behind the head or with ear loops. For COVID-19, masks can be used in two ways at a workplace:
As source control: workers and visitors wear the mask to protect those around them. The mask is controlling the hazard at its source – the wearer
As personal protective equipment (PPE): workers wear the mask, along with eye protection, to protect themselves
Not all masks are suitable for both purposes. You need to consider how you will use the mask in your workplace and make sure to select a suitable type of mask.
Masks are important to reduce the risk in situations where other controls, particularly physical distancing, cannot be consistently maintained. However, masks should not be the only control measure or replace other control measures in your workplace.
To decide whether you will use masks as source control in your workplace or if they will be needed as PPE, you will need to assess all relevant factors in your workplace including how effective the source control masking and other control measures are at reducing risk.
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