Instructions for the wearing of mouth-nose-coverings
According to the current state of knowledge, the wearing of mouth-nose-coverings, among other measures, can help to further contain the spread of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 - even when there are no signs of the disease. The corona virus SARS CoV-2, which triggers the disease COVID-19, is released into the environment as an aerosol via the air we breathe when we speak, cough or sneeze. It is therefore obvious to wear a mouth-nose cover as a mechanical barrier or brake.
Since mid-April, occupational health and safety standards have been in place from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Two clear principles apply here:
1. Regardless of the concept of measures at the workplace, in cases of doubt, where the minimum distance cannot be safely maintained, mouth-nose covers should be provided and worn.
2. Persons with respiratory symptoms should generally not stay on the company premises.
The Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BauA) has also set up a topic page on this subject.
Should respiratory masks be worn in factories and offices?
A mouth-nose cover makes sense wherever the distance regulations cannot be consistently observed. It helps to protect employees and customers. However, respiratory masks should be reserved for medical personnel.
What masks are available and how do they differ?
In addition to the often self-stitched community masks, there are medical protective masks, so-called surgical masks (operating masks) and filtering half masks, which originally come from the occupational safety sector. A comparison of the individual mask types, their standardization and certificates, as well as whether external and/or internal protection is provided, is shown in the following overview.
In summary, there are three areas of application for mouth-and-nose-covers:
1. Applications in everyday life (employees with personal contact and private users)
2. Applications in the medical/nursing sector
3. Applications in areas where personal protective equipment is mandatory
On the recommendation of various federal ministries or institutes, masks for the medical/nursing sector should also only be used in medicine and nursing. They should not be used in everyday life.