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Show full transcript for How to Apply an FFP3 Mask video

These masks are only effective when there is a good seal between the edges of the respirator mask and your face. But don't break the seal, because at that point, protection is compromised.

The masks we use in our video are 3M masks. If you use a different brand, check the instructions before you apply it.

These fitting instructions must be followed each time a mask is worn. Make sure that your face is clean-shaven. Respirators should not be worn with stubble, beards or other facial hair under the area

  1. With reverse side up and using the tabs, separate the top and bottom panels.
  2. Pull the chin and nose panel tabs until the nose clip bends so that the respirator forms a cup shape. Ensure that both panels are fully unfolded.
  3. Whilst still holding the tabs, hold the respirator with the open side towards your face and bring the respirator to you.
  4. when using a VALVED respirator – with one hand, hold the sides of the valve to hold the respirator position on your face, or if you are using an UNVALVED respirator – cup it in one hand with the open side towards your face.
  5. Then with your other hand, take each strap in turn and pull them over your head.
  6. Place the upper strap across the crown of the head and the lower strap below the ears. The straps must not be twisted. Adjust the top and bottom panels, using the tabs, for a comfortable fit. Ensure that the panels are not folded and that the tabs are folded flat.
  7. Using both hands, mould the nose clip to the shape of the nose to ensure a close fit and a good seal. Pinching the nose clip by using only one hand may result in less effective respirator performance.
  8. The seal of the respirator on the face should be rechecked before entering a hazardous area. To do this, cover the front of the respirator with both hands, being careful not to disturb the fit of the respirator. Then with an UNVALVED respirator – EXHALE sharply, or with a VALVED respirator – INHALE sharply.  If air leaks around the nose, re-adjust the nose clip to eliminate any leakage and then repeat the check. 

If air leaks at the respirator edges, work the straps back along the sides of the head to eliminate the leakage, and then repeat the process.

If you CANNOT achieve a proper fit DO NOT enter the hazardous area.

To remove the respirator, hold the corners of the respirator on both sides of your face, between your finger and thumb. Lift the respirator away from the face and then upwards, until the headbands come away from your head. As far as possible avoid touching the face-piece with your hands. Dispose of the respirator immediately in a clinical waste bag and DO NOT RE-USE, then wash your hands thoroughly.