The use of masks has already taken control of our lives and without them, we are vulnerable to the virus, Truck drivers expose themselves to the danger of getting infected when dealing with different people, from the dispatch workers, to buying food, or when being inspected by the DOT. That is why the correct use of the mask is very important, in addition to the distance of 6 feet and to keep the hands always clean and away from the face.
1- Know the time of use of the mask
Each type of mask has a time limit of use, for example, surgical masks can only be used a maximum of 4 hours. There are masks that have a special filter that can be used for 30 days, there are fabric masks that can be used for a maximum of 8 hours and can only last 25 washes. Exceeding the usage time can put the trucker`s health at risk. It’s recommended that truckers always carry extra masks on the truck.
2- What happens if your mask is wet?
A wet mask, whether from sweat or rainwater, is dangerous. As a trucker, you have to change it immediately. The lifespan of a mask is shortened if the trucker produces a lot of bodily fluids, such as mucus, saliva, or sweat. Because these fluids can lead to the proliferation of microorganisms, in addition to negatively affecting the properties of the material used in the masks.
3- You must choose the appropriate size of your mask
In order for the mask to fulfill its function effectively, the trucker must pay due attention and choose the correct size for protection. The mask doesn’t have to be too loose or too tight. The chin and nose should be properly adjusted and covered.
4- Improper handling of the mask
It’s very important that truckers know how to use a mask and are aware of the steps they must take when wearing them:
I. Before putting on the mask, wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol gel.
II. Check that the mouth and nose are well covered.
III. To put on or take off the mask you have to grasp the elastics on the sides, never in front.
IV. Do not handle the mask on the outside to accommodate it from top to bottom.
V. If the mask still has a useful life it should be stored in a container or bag that can be closed.
VI. Once the mask is discarded or stored, the trucker should clean the hands with alcohol gel or wash them with soap and water.
5- How to do the correct disinfection of a mask.
Many truckers choose reusable masks, but they don’t perform the disinfection process properly. Reusable N95 masks must be steam sterilized with a temperature above 120 degrees. It will be enough to leave them hanging over the boiling water for approximately 30 minutes. Cloth masks should be washed frequently in a washing machine at a temperature above 60 degrees. Soap can be added to the wash.