Centurion, the trusted PPE manufacturer is encouraging anyone buying face screens, also being marketed as cough guards, face guards and sneeze protection, for themselves or their workforce to ask five questions first.
1. What is the optical rating?
To keep frontline workers protected when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the production of lower quality single use face screens was fast tracked. These met the immediate goal of reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 by providing an effective barrier to the eyes, nose and mouth but there was no requirement for them to be certified to EN166 which usually controls the production of face screens. A particular issue with this is that they don’t meet the associated optical clarity standard which means anyone wearing one of these face screens all day may suffer visual side effects such as eye strain. Therefore for workers who need to wear face screens for prolonged periods it is preferable to choose a screen which is EN166 compliant such as the Classic Browguard System from Centurion.
2. Is it flexible?
A common complaint among disposable face screen users is they can’t be easily adjusted or flipped up to take into account a change of working position. While one of the benefits of face screens is that users don’t need to take them off to communicate clearly it is still useful to have built in flexibility. The Classic Browguard System from Centurion has a flip-up mask and flexible headband to ensure a personalised fit.
3. Is it comfortable?
Anyone who has to wear PPE for extended periods will tell you comfort is key. When choosing a face screen consider what features are included that improve comfort levels which will encourage workers to put the screen on and keep it on. For example as well as featuring a flexible headband, the Centurion Browguard features a fabric sweatband and dual strap system to ensure maximum comfort and enhance the personalised fit.
4. Does it feature impact protection?
A serious issues associated with lower quality face screens is that users may assume they have impact protection when they don’t. If you need impact protection, such as for undertaking grinding in industrial applications, choose EN166 compliant masks which have grade B impact rating such as Centurion’s Classic Browguard System, impact rated headband mounted face protection. It is also compatible with other PPE making it easier to ensure users stay fully protected.
5. What are its environmental credentials?
Single use face screens met an immediate need for front line workers but for longer term use they are bad news for the environment and your wallet. Reusable versions are easy to clean and last much longer making them far more economical and environmentally sound. Medical experts believe reusable materials pose no additional risk if they are routinely sanitised giving a good reason to steer clear of single use or cheap plastic face screens. Here’s some advice on how to keep your face screen clean.
View or download our ‘Face Protection Cleaning Video’
And finally it’s important to remember that face screens are not mask replacements but they can provide an added layer of protection against aerosol spread. A face screen can serve as a physical barrier to the particles you emanate when you breathe, and as a physical barrier to particles hitting you when someone coughs or sneezes. It protects not only the mouth and nose area but also the eyes, giving you a more complete physical barrier than a face mask. Face screens also prevent the wearer from touching much if not all of their face. The use of a face screen is also a reminder to maintain social distancing but allows visibility of facial expressions and lip movements for speech perception.