Below we have attached a Safety Alert “Warning on Non-Use of Face Masks by Construction Workers for OH protection during Covid-19”, as we have concerns that construction workers undertaking dusty tasks like drilling walls, cutting concrete/asphalt, welding or using chemicals producing toxic fumes are not using FPP3 face masks due to the current lack of market availability as they are being prioritised to NHS and other key workers to protect them against Covid-19.

The Safety Alert reminds Project Managers that other suppression techniques must be applied first before RPE is specified, and that these may be adequate to control the risks. If they are not and no FPP3 face masks are available, then the task must not be conducted. Lower protection level masks may be adequate to reduce risks of Covid-19 infection, but are not adequate to protect against occupational health risks.

It also reminds that users of FPP3 face masks must be face fit tested, and that this needs to be done every three years.

Project Managers and Compliance Coordinators are recommended to read the below guidance notes.

Network Rail Guidance on Use of RPE

HSE Guidance on Control of Silica Dust on Construction Sites