BOHS & IOM Release Guidance on Understanding the Use of Face Coverings, Facemasks and Respirators

Minimise the spread of COVID-19; understanding the use of face coverings, facemasks and respirators

FREE to download poster for employers.
Produced by The Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM), Society of Medicine (SOM) and the
British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) to improve understanding of how face coverings work and are used.

15 July 2020 [Edinburgh, UK]
Mass adoption of face coverings is an essential part of a control approach to minimise transmission of COVID-19. Mandatory use is now required in many situations. However where use is not mandated, merely recommended, there is limited compliance due partly to limited understanding about the differences and functions of face coverings, facemasks and respirators.

IOM supports the view that widespread adoption is essential to reduce transmission of infection in the community by minimising the spread of respiratory droplets and aerosols from infected individuals.

They are advocating for better awareness about the differences between the various types on masks, how they work, how effective they are and why they should be used. Without the education and awareness journey, the UK will struggle to realise the benefits that countries across Europe see following the implantation of mandatory policies for the widespread use of facemasks.

IOM, SOM and BOHS have developed a downloadable and printable guide for employers and the public to help identify and understand the use of face coverings, facemasks and disposable respirators.

About IOM
IOM is a mission-led not-for-profit independent and impartial organisation. We seek to bring about an improved understanding and practical application of the factors affecting human health in the workplace and the wider environment. Established in 1969, we have been at the forefront of scientific research to understand and mitigate a range of occupational and environmental health risks from coal-dust to asbestos to carbon nanotubes to air pollution. In addition to our Edinburgh headquarters, we have two further UK locations and a business located in Singapore.

We recently completed a set of unique studies to examine the real-world effectiveness of a variety of facemasks in reducing the amount of particulate matter that a person may breathe in.