In our second beard story of the week (Addam Smith of Band of Builders plans to de-beard for charity being the first) we bring news of Matthew Judson from PPE manufacturer JSP’s big shave.
Matthew, who is JSP’s resident technical expert, not only used the occasion of shaving off the beard he has sported for over 20 years to raise money for Help for Heroes but he also wanted to highlight the issues surrounding facial hair and Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE).
While the ‘hipster’ beard has become a common sight on construction sites in recent years sporting a beard is actually a REALLY BAD IDEA for anyone who works with construction dust because it makes it near impossible to achieve a proper fit with a face mask leaving workers suseptible to diseases including lung cancer, asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and silicosis.
Best practice for wearers of RPE is to be clean shaven and Matthew who regularly carries out fit testing (checking that masks fit and are being worn correctly) has spent years using his beard to demonstrate why you must be clean shaven for a good face-fit.
Matthew carried out one final demonstration before he shaved off his beard which showed that while sporting a beard his RPE was failing to effectively protect him whereas once he shaved it off the mask provided 69x more protection.
This is a clear demonstration that a tight fitting respirator will not work if you have facial hair. The simple advice is shave your face if you want to protect your lungs.