Five questions to ask before buying a face screen
Published: 1 September 2020 - Victoria White
Centurion is encouraging anyone buying face screens, also being marketed as visors, cough guards, face guards and sneeze protection, to ask five questions first.
What is the optical rating?
To keep frontline workers protected when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the production of lower quality single use face screens was fast tracked. These met the immediate goal of reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 by providing an effective barrier to the eyes, nose, and mouth but they weren’t tested to the complete EN166 standard. Consequently, many of these face screens don’t provide the optical clarity that could usually be expected from an EN166 face screen and anyone wearing one all day is at risk of visual side effects such as eye strain - this effect may increase if you wear spectacles. This issue can be avoided by choosing a face screen with Class 1 EN166 certification such as the Classic Browguard System from Centurion. Anti-fog options are also available.
Is it flexible?
A common complaint among disposable face screen users is they can’t be easily adjusted or flipped up to consider a change of working position. While one of the benefits of face screens is that users don’t need to take them off to communicate clearly it is still useful to have built in flexibility. The Classic Browguard System from Centurion, for example, has a flip-up face screen and flexible headband to ensure a personalised fit.
Is it comfortable?
Anyone who has to wear PPE for extended periods will tell you comfort is key. When choosing a face screen consider what features are included that improve comfort levels which will encourage workers to put the screen on and keep it on. For example, as well as featuring a flexible headband, the Centurion Classic Browguard System features a fabric sweatband and dual strap system to ensure maximum comfort and enhance its personalised fit. Meanwhile the ConceptAir Helmet and Flip Up Visor Kit combines Centurion’s comfortable visor design with one of the lightest helmets on the market to ensure feel-good comfort even for extended periods of use.
Does it feature impact protection?
A serious issue associated with lower quality face screens is that users may assume they have impact protection when they don’t. If you need impact protection, such as for undertaking grinding in industrial applications, choose EN166 compliant face screens which have grade B impact rating such as Centurion’s Classic Browguard System and the ConceptAir Helmet and Flip Up Visor Kit. These systems are also compatible with other PPE making it easier to ensure users stay fully protected.
What are its environmental credentials?
Single use face screens met an immediate need for front line workers but in the longer term they are bad news for the environment and your wallet. Reusable versions such as Centurion’s Classic Browguard System are easy to clean and last much longer making them far more economical and environmentally sound. Medical experts believe reusable materials pose no additional risk if they are routinely sanitised. Here’s some advice on how to keep your face screen clean. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO9jyV0qE6s
And finally, it’s important to remember that face screens are not mask replacements, but they can provide an added layer of protection against aerosol spread. A face screen can serve as a physical barrier to the particles you emanate when you breathe, and as a physical barrier to particles hitting you when someone coughs or sneezes. It protects not only the mouth and nose area but also the eyes, giving you a more complete physical barrier than a face mask. Face screens also prevent the wearer from touching much if not all of their face. The use of a face screen is also a reminder to maintain social distancing but allows visibility of facial expressions and lip movements for speech perception.
Source: Industrial Compliance