Do You Need to Say 'No' to No-Shave November? - Worksite Medical

Must-Shave November?

 

No-Shave November has become a movement for men to ditch their razors in order to grow out their beards (or their mo’s) in order to raise awareness for cancer. But if you’re required to wear a tight-fitting respirator at work — it’s important to always have a clean shave (even in November).  

Having a tight-fitting respirator is crucial for effective protection against hazardous gases, vapors, and particles in the air. Facial hair such as beards, mustaches, and sideburns can interfere with protection and are a common reason that someone cannot be fit tested.

 

 

Related: Are You Forgetting This Key Part to the Respirator Standard?

 

Studies have shown that even a day or two of stubble can begin to reduce effective protection. Facial hair underneath a sealing surface can cause 20 to 1000 times more leakage than being clean shaven. That’s why some workers can’t actively participate in No-Shave November.

 

What OSHA Says

 

The OSHA respiratory protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134) requires that employees are to be fit tested prior to the initial use of a respirator, as well as when a different respirator (in size, style, model or make) is used. Also, another test that is often overlooked is the user seal check.

 

Related: 2018 OSHA Top 10 Violations List Released

 

A worker should perform a user seal check every time they wear a respirator (How To Perform a Respirator Seal Check).

There are two simple ways for an employee to perform their own seal check:

For a positive pressure user seal check – exhale gently while blocking areas where air could escape. In a successful check, the facepiece will become slightly pressurized before increased pressure causes outward leakage.

For a negative pressure user seal check, inhale sharply while blocking the other paths where air could enter the facepiece. During a successful check, the facepiece will slightly collapse under the negative pressure created.

 

No Shave November

Get Your Stickers, Show Your Support!

 

Are you part of the “Must-Shave November” club, but you still want to support the No-Shave November cause? Contact us today, and we will send you a sticker to wear on your uniform or hardhat!

Then, make sure to schedule your appointment with Worksite Medical for mobile respirator fit testing.

We also offer a variety of on-site services including respirator checks, audio exams, respiratory testing, and more. Give us a call at 1-844-OCCUMED or visit us online.  

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