COVID Safety Guidelines for Shared Workshops

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Really well thought out protocol, thanks for sharing! Makes me think it would be a great place to make stuff.


Wow Gareth this is really neat. I am interested in the USB motor ventilated mask but the link goes to a notice that it’s no longer available. Can you recommend a product that does the same thing?

Note that the mask shown has an unfiltered exhalation port in the middle. So it won’t do much to block exhaled aerosols – i.e., don’t count on it to keep others safe.


Let me ask Jeff Powers, the guy who wrote the guidelines.


I’m kind of desperate for a mask with great ventilation that still protects for “casual contact.” I am frequently doing yard work including sawing and mulching, plus in the garage with electric saws. I also wear glasses. My wraparound prescription shades have been a godsend, but fogging is still an issue with some masks. I think this crisis will continue to drive innovation. I do have a couple of shop ventilation masks with replaceable filters. On a hot day they’re kinda yech outside. I also need something for bicycling.

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In what situations would you need a mask outside, or when bicycling?

Came here to point out that this ventilated mask defeats the purpose of protecting others, and efficiently achieves the opposite.
It’s amazing that it exists!

Biking: In L.A. for two reasons, smog and group rides.

Outside in general, if dealing with people. Tried an outdoor brunch at my mom’s house and noticed everyone was talking louder therefore projecting more because of the ambient noise.

DrDave, + kbert both make excellent points regarding the 3M Masks - they are designed for protection from ingress of dust and vapours etc / not the exhalation. Even though they LOOK heavy duty - they are not 100% and there are compromises that people should be aware of. Most types of mask make compromises whether the mask is designed to KEEP THINGS OUT (dust masks, the 3M masks etc) OR prevent the breath of the user GETTING OUT (medical masks). As we are a workshop that is always dealing with chemicals and dust - we need to also prioritise the protection of the makers from these risks. As all the people in the workshop have these masks and are wearing them, coupled with our existing environmental controls and the need for the protection from other risks - these are best for us - but are definitely not suitable for all situations. As DrDave, and kbert point out - in a mixed environment - where some people may not be wearing masks, these are not suitable to protect others. There is a ‘valve’ to protect from large droplets, but would only function about as well as a simple cloth mask. You can easily add a small cloth filter after the valve (the masks are quite modular) to mitigate the exhalation of the air - but beware - I imagine this would void some of the safety measures in the mask - as it would make it harder to exhale and you may get CO2 build up. Risk assess it yourself. One other thing to mention on comfort - the more comfortable the mask, and the longer it is designed to be worn - the less likely you will be inclined to adjust it (and touch your face) during the day.

As with anything PPE - its the last line of defence. It is much more important to remove or reduce the risk using environmental safety measures (air flow, etc ) and systems/policy measures (Hygiene and social distancing) before relying on PPE.

Sludge - Sorry, I don’t know of another similar product. the European supplier estimates new stock in September and October. Our little battery packs are still going strong - and they are a few years old. They are not particularly complicated, I am sure the maker community could hack a similar type solution with a lightweight fan, a battery pack and a valve. I think they would be great for cycling - I am thinking about taking a valve off the paper mask and attaching it to my anti-pollution cycling mask to make use of the fan.


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