Should Employees of Salons, Medical Offices, Restaurants, Drive Thrus and Grocery & Retail Stores wear protective masks; and if so, what kind? With Covid-19 on the rise, your customers will feel more safe and comfortable if your employees are properly protected. Really, the answer depends on how much protection you want your employees to have, and still be able to perform the function of their jobs.
How to Choose Best Face Masks for Employees: Things to Consider
- How long do employees have to wear the face masks? If the face mask is too tight or retains too much heat, then it won’t be comfortable for employees to wear for long periods of time. KN95 & N95 fit tightly on your face and the 5 layer material also retains quite a bit of heat. These masks provide the BEST protection by filtering out 95% of particulates, but they can be uncomfortable if worn for long periods of time. More than likely the employees will have to adjust and remove the mask after wearing for 30 minutes. KN95 & N95 masks are worn mostly by doctors. They are also worn by painters and workers exposed to pesticides.
- How close will the employee be to the customer? Depending on how personal and close the employee needs to be to customers will determine if the employee should wear a face shield or just a mask. Closer contact to customers should require a face shield.
- Will the employee be behind a clear barrier? Banks already have clear barriers installed to protect the employees from customers. However, many businesses such as Home Depot, Walmart and Kroger have placed new protective plexi-glass barriers between the customer and the cashier. This offers protection if the customer sneezes or coughs. However, these barriers don’t offer much protection to air borne particles.
Comparing Face Masks & Face Shield for Employees
Clear Transparent Face Shields with 180 Degree Protection
Clear Face Shields are often worn in medical environments because the shield provides a solid protective barrier between the patient and the doctor. The Shield provides 180 protection from ear to ear. Here are some obvious advantages of the transparent face shield:
- Not only protects your nose and mouth, but also protects your eyes from external spray.
- Prevents yourself from touching eyes, nose or mouth. Great for children to break this habit!
- Prevents internal spray outwards. Protects others from your sneezing, coughing or accidental spitting. You’ve heard of the phrase, “say it but don’t spray it!”
- Built with a comfortable foam cushion that sits on the forehead.
- Cleanable & reusable.
Transparent Face Shields are a good option for salons, nail technicians, beauticians, retail, fast food, restaurant waiters, dentists and dental assistants. The Face Shield provides another layer of protection for retail workers behind a plexi glass shield.
Here’s a video showing the effectiveness of a Clear Face Shield:
Clear Face Shield Glasses
Another version of the face shield is the Glasses Face Shield. Rather than an elastic strap, these transparent face shields fit like sunglasses. They also provide 180 degree protection, but the shield is tightly smaller than the elastic face shield above.
These shields can be worn over existing eye glasses if needed. The Glasses Shield have the same benefits as the Elastic Face Shield, but may provide a cleaner and more fashionable look.
Medical 2.5 PM Face Masks
These are the common rectangular shaped face masks made of a paper towel like material. The sheets of paper are melt blown to create 3 layers of protection. These masks are worn by doctors and dentists in a medical setting. They filter out particles 2.5 microns and larger. The nose bridge is also adjustable to provide a more secure fit. They are comfortable and lightweight. However, these masks are not recommended to wear more than once, especially if there is close contact with customers. An economical choice is you need to provide face masks to a large # of people.
Non Medical Face Masks
Let’s face it non-medical face masks just look more appealing than medical masks. The reason they are referred to as non-medical face masks is because these masks have not been formally tested by any government entity. However, the CDC recommends wearing cloth masks because they do work.
You should look for cloth masks that are thicker than 1mm. Bikershades.com sells a face mask that is made of a 1.7 mm stretchable fabric. The fabric feels like a neoprene material. It consists of two loops that comfortably hook behind the ears. These face masks are also washable and resuable.
Bandannas: Stylish & Colorful Face Coverings
While Bandannas are not used in medical settings, cotton has been proven to provide some degree of protection. To wear a bandanna, simply fold the bandanna in half by meeting two opposite corners together to create a triangle. This creates a double layer of protection. Place the center horizontal edge over your nose and tie in the back of your head.
Where to Purchase Face Masks and Face Shields Wholesale
Medical face masks & face shields are still short in supply. However, Bikershades.com and Sunglassmonster.com imports them direct from the manufacturer. If you are looking to purchase face masks and face shields wholesale in mass quantities, please inquire here. Bikershades.com is headquartered in the USA, so shipment is fast and easy. They can ship up to 500 pieces at a time.
Conclusion: Protect Your Yourself, Your Employees and Your Customers!
Whether you choose a medical grade face mask, face shields, or bandannas, it is extremely important to protect your employees with a face mask. By protecting your employees, you are protecting their families and also their customers.