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Should I allow my employees to wear facemasks?

April 8, 2020
Facemasks are still considered a voluntary public health measure. The  guidance posted on the CDC website states:
“CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.” The CDC website also includes links to the  proper way to wear one, directions on how to make one, and a mask-making  video demonstration by U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams.
Per the CDC: “This recommendation complements and does not replace the  President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America, 30 Days to Slow the Spreadexternal icon, which remains the cornerstone of our national effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.”
Here is a link to the CDC’s Cloth Face Coverings: Questions and Answers
Here are my thoughts:
  • facemasks provide protection against larger respiratory droplets - this will slow the spread of the virus and help those who are asymptomatic (people who may have the virus and do not know it) from transmitting it to others; however this may also give workers a false sense of security and lead them to think they are “safe” or can’t catch the virus if wearing one of these masks
  • employees should not report to work if they are sick or think they have been exposed to coronavirus
  • face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing
  • employees should 1. wash hands or use hand sanitizer immediately prior to removing, 2. be extremely careful when removing them not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth, and 3. wash hands or use hand sanitizer immediately after removing
  • because workers will wear them all day I recommend washing daily
For additional information, please click on the article titled, " COVID-19 - WORKPLACE FACEMASK LIABILITY ISSUES," by Mark A. Lies II and Adam R. Young. They have also provided " NOTICE TO EMPLOYEES - FACE COVERING MASKS," which you can tailor to your company.
Photo Courtesy Mark A. Lies II and Adam R. Young , Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Photo Courtesy Mark A. Lies II and Adam R. Young , Seyfarth Shaw LLP
For more information to protect your workforce, visit:
This sites are updating regularly as new information becomes available.
Still have questions???
The Corkill Safety Team is always available if you have any additional occupational safety and health related questions or concerns. 
Stay well and take good care!