New HSE research has revealed that respirators/masks which rely on ear loops (including those provided with clips, ‘snuggers’ or other means of tightening the fit of the mask) to hold the respirator/mask in place, do not protect people adequately when used as tight fitting respiratory protective equipment (RPE).
Outline of the problem: –
HSE has seen an increase in the variety of ear loop respirators/masks, which indicate they offer the protection provided by FFP2 (filtering facepiece respirators or disposable half mask respirators). These products rely on having a good seal with the wearer’s face. For the majority of workers who are required to wear tight fitting RPE in the workplace, this seal cannot be achieved with a respirator/mask relying on ear loops to hold it in place.