Proper Face Mask Usage – At and Away From Work

COVID-19 can be spread by someone even when they are asymptomatic. By covering your mouth and nose with a mask, you are protecting others. Remember: If you get the flu, you could spread it to about 14 people; if you get COVID-19, you could spread it to thousands. It spreads that easily. Face masks can prevent that from happening.

Employers are required to provide employees with face coverings when required. You may also choose to bring in your own mask that you bought or made. If you want to use your own, please check with your supervisor to make sure it will keep you safe.

Face Masks do not take the place of Social Distancing. Thank you for your efforts to keep yourself and our communities healthy!


How to wear a face mask:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before putting on the mask, and immediately after taking the mask off and after storing or throwing away the mask.
  • To keep you and others safe, all face masks must cover your nose and mouth with no gaps between the mask and your face. Always treat the outside of the mask as if it is dirty and wash your hands as soon as you take it off.
  • If both sides of the mask look similar, mark the top outer surface so that reuse is easier
  • Never remove your mask by touching the mask material itself. Use the elastic or ties to remove the mask.
  • Launder daily. Check providers instructions for appropriate laundering Hang to air dry.
  • Inspect mask to determine if it can be used again. If it is soiled or wet, replace it.
  • If OK to reuse, fold mask in half (lengthwise or width-wise), so the outside surfaces are touching each
  • Store in a clean personal paper bag or vented plastic bag when not in use. (label if needed)
  • Do not place directly in pocket, toolbox, or unprotected area


Benefits of wearing a face mask:

  • Wearing a face mask may not protect you from COVID-19, but it will protect others if you are sick. Face coverings are designed to catch your own oral droplets from contaminating others.
  • By wearing a mask, it reminds people to keep a safe distance from each other.
  • It prevents you from touching your mouth, nose, and parts of your face with an unwashed hand.
  • Even when wearing a face mask, you should continue to practice social distancing (keep 6 feet away from others, avoid close contact).

DOSH has updated the Directive to extend guidance to all industries. In addition, information is provided for the assessment and use of cloth face coverings and respirators for COVID-19.


If you want to make a mask, here are several resources found on the L&I website.


Download a PDF of this Toolbox Talks in English

Download a PDF of this Toolbox Talks in Spanish