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How High-Quality PPE Can Help Protect Your Workers During the Delta Variant Outbreak

How High-Quality PPE Can Help Protect Your Workers During the Delta Variant Outbreak

As the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to impact businesses with surges in cases, hospitalizations and deaths, it’s critical to help protect your organization during this phase of the pandemic. Purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE) for the Delta variant may look different this time around because the global supply has increased significantly since the beginning of the pandemic.

While OSHA states vaccination is the most effective way to protect against COVID-19,1 employers are responsible for providing their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.2 It’s important for employers to build a culture of safety by implementing proper cleaning protocols and workplace controls in addition to providing masks and other PPE to meet the latest OSHA and CDC recommendations.

Because every workplace is unique, it may be challenging to identify what type of PPE your workers need. Here’s what to consider:

SELECT HIGH-QUALITY PROTECTION

High-quality masks and respirators are one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of the Delta variant, especially for workers who are unvaccinated or vulnerable to disease.3 Not all protection is created equal. It’s important to select PPE that’s built with durable materials, engineered for comfort, and provides the right type of protection for your specific workplace.

For example, N95 respirators filter out at least 95 percent of particles in the air and reduce the wearer's exposure to airborne particles.4 Surgical N95 respirators are intended for use in healthcare settings and offer fluid resistance in addition to particulate filtration. Some N95 respirators have valves and can be used in industrial environments, but they are not recommended by the CDC as source control.

Face covers, on the other hand, provide a multi-layer barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air when coughing, sneezing, or talking.

According to the CDC, “Studies demonstrate that cloth mask materials can also reduce wearers’ exposure to infectious droplets through filtration, including filtration of fine droplets and particles less than 10 microns.”5

GET AHEAD OF JUST-IN-TIME SUPPLY CHAIN BEHAVIOR

Before the pandemic, the world relied on a just-in-time model where supplies were delivered daily, leading to reduced costs because of lean inventories. While this approach enabled attractive cost reductions over the past decade, it quickly became evident that the just-in-time model wasn’t enough when it came to worker safety during the pandemic. 

The supply shortages made it difficult for companies to provide their essential workers, from line workers to healthcare professionals, with critical high-quality protective equipment. Demand surged 17 times the typical burn rate for N95 respirators, 8.6 times for face shields, and 3.3 times for surgical masks in the first couple months of the pandemic.6

Manufacturers like Honeywell made significant changes to their operations to keep up with the demand and help rebuild confidence in the supply chain during a time of crisis. With a combination of speed, agility, and decades of industry experience, we stood up a new facility that increased production capacity to 20 million masks per month in just a matter of five weeks – a process that would normally take nine months.

We continued to expand our U.S.-based facilities, adding more than 70 million N95 respirators per month to the domestic N95 supply. We also invested in creating PPE solutions specifically for the healthcare industry, such as surgical N95 respirators, surgical and procedure masks, and nitrile gloves.

MAKE THE RIGHT PPE DECISION FOR YOUR WORKPLACE

The difference between now and then is that there is a greater supply available of N95 respirators, fluid-resistant face masks, and protective apparel compared to April 2020.7 And because of the increase in supply, it’s up to purchasing decision-makers to lean into factors like quality and comfort when selecting the PPE for their workforce.

Backed by our legacy of safety and care, we have a wide variety of products designed for industrial, healthcare, and consumer use.

Take our DF300 and DC300 N95 Disposable Respirators, for example. We originally engineered our DF300 N95 Disposable Respirator for industrial use to promote easier breathing with multilayered absorption media that repels moisture and features a smooth inner lining for added comfort. Similarly, our DC300 N95 Disposable Respirator is designed to comfortably fit most facial shapes, minimizing pressure points. Additionally, our Disposable Face Shield is built with an anti-fog coating to help reduce fogging and ensure good visibility.

When it comes to PPE for healthcare professionals, there are different standards and protocols. Our DC365 Surgical N95 Respirator, which is easy to don and doff, is a high fluid-resistant surgical N95 respirator designed for clinician satisfaction across the continuum of care.

For everyday use as source control, the Dual Layer Face Cover is made out of stretchable 3D knitted fabric to fit multiple face profiles and features ventilation holes for improved breathability.8

Ready to take the next step in preparing your workplace for the Delta variant? Visit our Honeywell Retail Store for high-quality PPE now or contact your local Honeywell representative to learn more about how to help protect your workers when and where they need it most.

Sources:

1 OSHA, https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/safework

2 OSHA, https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/OSHA4045.pdf

3 CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/delta-variant.html

4 CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/respirator-use-faq.html

5 CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/masking-science-sars-cov2.html

6 Premier Inc.,https://www.premierinc.com/newsroom/press-releases/premier-inc-survey-as-covid-19-spreads-to-new-hotspots-hospitals-should-prepare-for-up-to-a-17x-surge-in-supply-demand

7 Supply Chain Quarterly, https://www.supplychainquarterly.com/articles/4571-ppe-availability-improves-but-supply-chain-still-constrained  

8 Not intended for medical use; not demonstrated to prevent transmission of COVID-19 or other pathogens; use in accordance with fitting instructions

 

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