If there is one thing that has been highlighted during the pandemic, it is that no matter where you work safety in the workplace is important. In fact, we can probably agree that COVID-19 has brought to light the importance of handwashing, social distancing, and keeping the environments where we live and work clean. There is a growing awareness that personal protective equipment (PPE) is not reserved for individuals working in healthcare. Underscoring the question, “should we have been wearing facemasks before the pandemic?”
Why Facemasks May Have Always Been a Precaution Worth Taking
Disposable paper face masks were never obligatory before, but they have been worth considering in a variety of industries, from beauty to dental care. There are, of course, some businesses where employees are required to wear respiratory PPE equipment due to environmental and workplace regulations.
Why Some Individuals Overlook Wearing PPE
There are many reasons why people overlook wearing a face mask and other PPE. Some individuals feel that PPE interferes with their uniforms or other clothing. There are then those who simply do not think they need it, after all, they are only completing a quick task, with little risk. Others think it makes it awkward to work or that they get too uncomfortable. Lastly, there is the observation that my co-worker never wears PPE, and he or she is never ill.
The Benefits of Wearing Masks and Other PPE
There are many benefits of wearing a face mask and other PPE outside of the pandemic, and they should not be overlooked. For example, the main advantage to wearing PPE is that it can prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses that might otherwise result in illness. Another benefit is that if you work in an environment where you are in close contact with other people or any substances that can be harmful, a mask may prevent you from getting the symptoms associated with respiratory illness. Inhaling hazardous substances, can result in, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and ultimately lead to respiratory distress.
Your Health is Paramount
Your health is paramount. Therefore, it is vital to consider what happens if you are ill. Not only will you feel terrible, but you will also be unable to work. Loss of work can result in a loss of income. If you are self-employed a long-term illness could be catastrophic. Some have been looking into their insurance options, finding out whether they are covered for illnesses like COVID-19. There are excellent resources on Medicare and COVID-19 should you want to find out more about benefits for seniors.
What we have Realized about Protecting our Health
The pandemic has made us realize that there is a lot we need to consider when it comes to protecting our health and our future. When you carefully consider the benefits, it is not tough to see why wearing disposable paper face masks is advised. It does not take a lot of effort, they are inexpensive, can prevent the spread of certain viruses, bacteria, and decrease your risk of experiencing respiratory distress.