Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Guide to selecting the correct equipment for your operating environment.  
Publication: W/c 11/05/2020 - UPDATED THURS 28 MAY 2020

Copyright: Fun and Fit Bike CIC - permission for copying, sharing or publication info@funanfitbike.com. 

 

If not already, pretty soon you will have to think about Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and what you will need to protect yourself and the people that matter to you.

It can be a daunting task getting to grips with:

 

  • the effective level of alcohol hand sanitiser should contain

  • whether to choose latex, nitrile or vinyl protective gloves

  • the difference between medical and respirator protective masks

  • selecting bactericide or virucide sprays for physical areas

 

Where to start, what to select, who to buy from, how to protect your stakeholders? 
 
This guide provides you with an introduction to the various PPE available, the selection criteria for the different operating environments, what to know before you buy, etc. etc.

Protective Masks

There are two main European Standard certificated masks on the market, both have three versions with differing levels of protection (I've graded them Good, Better, Best). US and Chinese Standard masks, equivalent to the European Standard ones, are also available (they just have a different model number - see below).


1. European Standard EN 14683 (often referred to as IIR/2R masks): 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The distinguishing feature of masks produced to this standard is that they offer two-way protection and therefore commonly used in environments where there is a risk of toxic or infectious particles being transferred to or from the wearer. 
 
Produced in 3 and 4 ply for single use, they are designed to prevent large particles (e.g. spit, mucous) being transferred to the wearer from people and physical objects in the vicinity, and vice-versa. However, depending on the circumstances, it does not protect from inhaling the very small particles suspended in the air that potentially carry the coronavirus. 
 
There are three models of this mask, each offering a different level of protection: 
 
Type I: bacteria filtering effectiveness > 95%. (Good)

Type II: bacteria filtering effectiveness > 98%. (Better)

Type IIR/2R: bacteria filtering effectiveness > 98% and splash resistant (Best) 
 
Your choice of mask category will depend on the settings in which they are being used. For example, where exposure to blood and/or bodily fluids from person(s) or work environment the mask wearer is interacting with is a risk, Type IIR mask will be applicable. 
 
2. European Standard EN 149:2001+A1:2009* (often referred to as FFP/N95/KN95 masks):

The distinguishing feature of masks produced to this standard is that they offer single-way protection to the wearer and therefore commonly used in environments where there is a risk of toxic or infectious particles being transferred to the wearer from people and physical objects they are working in the vicinity of, but less risk of transference from the wearer. 

 
Often referred to as FFP masks (Filtering Facepiece Particles) and are used in both healthcare and other industry settings (chemicals, construction, agriculture, etc), these 2 and 3 ply masks are designed as respirators to protect the wearer against the inhalation of both droplets and particles suspended in the air, specifically solids, water-based aerosols, and oil-based aerosols. Certain models can have exhaling valves fitted. They do not offer protection to persons or physical objects in the vicinity. 
 
Because of the mask’s tightness on the face, there can be implications for wearer wellbeing in situations of prolonged use. Therefore, risk assessments should be carried out on potential users, taking into account existing conditions such as asthma, COPD, etc. 
 
There are three models of this mask, each offering a different level of protection:   
 
FFP1 masks which filter at least 80% of aerosols (inward leakage < 22%) (Good)

FFP2 masks which filter at least 94% of aerosols (inward leakage < 8%) (Better)

FFP3 masks which filter at least 99% of aerosols (inward leakage < 2%) (Best)    

 

NB. The FFP2 mask has a US standard certificated equivalent called N95 and Chinese standard certificated equivalent called KN95. 
 
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends FFP2 or FFP3 masks during outbreaks of infections such as SARS, Avian Flu and Coronavirus. 
 
Certain models of this mask can be reused, and this will be indicated in the certification and/or packaging. On 1 August 1, 2010, an amendment to EN 149.2001 standard entered into force concerning the reusability of masks’ dust filters, indicated by “R”, reusable, and “NR”, non-reusable, and tagged as EN 149:2001+A1:2009.   
 
Your choice of mask category will depend on the settings in which they are being used. For example, an FFP3 respirator mask would filter out at least 98% of the airborne respirable particles, whereas an FFP1 respirator mask would filter out at least 80% of the respirable particles. FFP3 respirator masks are, therefore, the most efficient in filtering out fine particles including viruses, mould spores, and asbestos.   
 
IMPORTANT

Whatever mask you decide you need, make sure your supplier provides the appropriate European/US/Chinese Standard conformity certificate and packaging stating all the relevant details including the Standard, model number and CE stamp (complies with EU safety).

 

Also, be aware masks can be packaged as non-sterile, meaning they are not individually wrapped within the carton.  

 

The information provided in this guide is done so for awareness only and should not be taken as medical advice.

A summary table of this information is provided below. If you would like to discuss your requirements, please call or email Bill McGowan on 07770 926895, info@funandfitbike.com

HAND SANITISER

Guide to selecting the correct hand sanitiser for your operating environment.  
Publication: W/c 11/05/2020 by Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland

Copyright: Fun and Fit Bike CIC - permission for copying, sharing or publication: info@funandfitbike.com 

 

There is no substitute for washing your hands thoroughly in soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds, making sure to access the areas between your fingers. 

However, if you cannot wash your hands, alcohol hand sanitiser is the next best thing and will help eliminate any infectious particles. The key though is that the sanitiser must have an alcohol content of at least 60% (as stated by the World Health Organisation and the NHS), preferably at least 70%. 

Do not confuse anti-bacterial handwashes for hand sanitiser. They do not contain alcohol and therefore less effective.

 

PROTECTIVE GLOVES

Guide to selecting the correct protective gloves for your operating environment.  
Publication: W/c 28/05/2020 by Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland

Copyright: Fun and Fit Bike CIC - permission for copying, sharing or publication: info@funandfitbike.com 

There are three distinct types of protective gloves:

Latex Gloves

Latex gloves are natural material, made out of rubber.  They are a popular choice of protective glove for medical or industrial use. Benefits include

  • Close-fitting

  • High level of touch sensitivity

  • Good for wearing for an extended amount of time

  • Work well for high-risk situations involving infectious material

  • Cost-effective

  • Lightly powdered, making them easier to put on

  • Elastic and strong

  • Biodegradable

 

Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile gloves are made out of synthetic rubber and have superior puncture resistance than latex gloves. They are also an ideal alternative when latex allergies are of concern. 

  • Close-fitting

  • High puncture-resistance

  • Latex-free

  • Have a high level of sensitivity

  • Good for wearing an extended amount of time

  • Work well for high-risk situations involving infectious material

  • Resist many chemicals

  • Have a long shelf life

 

Vinyl Gloves

Vinyl gloves are a popular choice for the food industry and situations where high levels of durability and protection are less of a priority.  While they may be less durable, they are the less expensive option.

  • Latex-free

  • Have a looser fit

  • Are good for short-term, low-risk tasks

  • Are the most economic option

  • Have anti-static properties

  • Are best for use with non-hazardous materials

  • Are lightly powdered to make it easier to put on

NB. In most working environments, particularly medical and social care, as well as food and drink, powder-free gloves are required. This is to ensure that no contamination or allergic reaction is caused by gloves that contain a powder coating (usually corn flour ) to make them easier to put on and more comfortable to wear.

Do you need certified PPE at competitive prices?  

(Stock and price list)

As a social enterprise health and wellbeing business using large volumes of PPE in our core work,  we have developed excellent experience in sourcing and supplying high quality, competitively priced hand sanitiser, protective masks, etc.

 

We have full references available from Councils, care organisations, education establishments, private companies, and we're real people right here in the UK, helping organisations avoid the pitfalls of buying the wrong products from unknown sources that may never deliver.

 

Here's a short summary of our product schedules - all products are fully compliant with European and international standards and are supplied with certification.

 

Protective masks.  

 

3-Ply disposable mask, Type IIR SPLASH RESISTANT EN 14683:
10 boxes (500 masks)
20 boxes (1000 masks) 
50 boxes (2500 masks)  
100 boxes (5000 masks)

NB. Type I version (bacteria filtering effectiveness > 95% but not splash -resistant) also available.

3-Ply disposable respirator, Type KN95:
100 respirators

500 respirators
1000 respirators
5000 respirators

Alcohol (70%) hand sanitiser gel.

50ml pocket-size flip-top bottles 
500Ml flip-top bottles
5 Litre screw-cap containers:  


Commercials for masks, respirators and sanitiser:
No VAT (we are a social enterprise business)

UK delivery within 24 hours from £25.
Payment by BACS or credit card via PayPal (3% fee). Normally 50% deposit and 50% on delivery or full payment in advance - for your added security, we can supply references for care and education organisations we are already supplying.

 

Contact us on info@funandfitbike.com, tel 07770 926895, or use our contact form

We are a UK social enterprise health and wellbeing business (Fun and Fit Bike CIC - company reg no SC622338). Already a big user of PPE through our core work, we decided when coronavirus kicked in to use our purchasing experience to help other organisations source high quality, competitively priced product and avoid the pitfalls of buying the wrong products from the wrong people. Full references from Councils, care and education organisations available.

 

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