Technical Information


This document has been produced by the BOHS Working Group on Return to Work Issues in the Context of the COVID-19 epidemic. The aim of the document is to provide guidance for members on how to undertake occupational hygiene surveys during the extended COVID-19 outbreak.

COVID-19: Face Coverings in the Workplace

The UK government announced that from 15 June, face coverings will be required while using public transport in England. In addition, the requirement extends to all visitors to hospitals and hospital staff. The requirement does not currently include other enclosed spaces such as shops. Nevertheless, as lock down measures are gradually lifted it seems likely that the mandate for use of face coverings will be extended to other scenarios.

The BOHS has issued revised guidance on the use of face masks as protection against the Coronavirus, taking into account recent government statements and research on the reliability of face masks in various environments.


Spotting a Fake Respirator

The British Occupational Hygiene Society has issued guidance to its members following concerns about the increasing amount of fake respiratory protective equipment in circulation. Thousands of new respirators are flooding the market and criminals are taking advantage of the decision to allow the use of respirators that would not normally be used in the UK.

Respirators are used by health care workers, but also by many other workers to protect them from work exposure to cancer-causing dust and harmful chemicals. The acute shortage in the NHS has led to donations of respirators to hospitals, leaving other workers exposed to life-threatening illnesses. Each year, it is estimated that more than 12,000 people die as a result of workplace exposures.