Now that we’re required to wear masks in order to reduce the spread of the coronavirus among our workforce, let’s talk about how to properly put on a mask.
Here are four things to keep in mind when donning a surgical mask.
1. Clean your hands. Before touching the mask, wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
2. Figure out the mask’s configuration. The top of the mask has a stiff, bendable edge that molds to the shape of your nose. The colored side of the mask is usually the front and should face away from you, while the white side touches your face.
3. Put on the mask. For a mask with ear loops, hold the mask by the loops and place a loop around each ear. For masks with ties, bring the mask to nose level, place the ties over the crown of your head and secure them with a bow. For masks with bands, bring the mask to nose level and pull the top strap over your head so that it rests over the crown of your head. Pull the bottom strap over your head so that it rests on your neck.
4. Secure the mask. Mold or pinch the stiff edge of the mask to the shape of your nose, then pull its bottom over your mouth and chin.
(From the May 11, 2020, issue of Safety Alert for Supervisors. To download the rest of the issue, please click here.)