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Guidelines for PAPR Use with Facial Hair

Guidelines for PAPR Use with Facial Hair

April 6, 2020

We are facing a challenge across the system in relation to PAPR use and the misconception of when a PAPR should be used by male associates. There has been some resistance from male associates who indicate they cannot wear an N95 due to facial hair. The HR policy 302 Dress Code and Personal Appearance policy states:

If patient care duties, or an unexpected event, (such as severe infectious disease outbreak) requires associate to wear N-95 respirator, then the associate must be clean shaven within the sealing area of the respirator in order to maintain appropriate fit and protection.

These PAPRs in some instances are our only line of defense for all hazards events which could still come our way during this pandemic….i.e. chemical and radiological events. In some instances, these replacement items for PAPRs are already backordered through July so we need to conserve this precious resource.

The CDC guidelines in relation to facial hair and proper fitting of respirators are in the image below. Please reference these guidelines and our HR policy to enforce the need to be clean shaven within the sealing area of the respirator during this pandemic to conserve our resources.

Anyone who is not willing to comply with this policy will not receive a PAPR and should be referred back to their manager.