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LEGISLATIVE INTERPRETATIONS

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT

Respiratory protective equipment – Clean-shaven

Topic: Respiratory protective equipment – Clean-shaven Issued By: V.P., WorkSafe Services
Statute: Regulation 91-191 Date Issued: December 11, 1998
Section: 47 Date Revised:

47 An employee who may be required to use respiratory protective equipment shall co-operate in attaining an effective fit of the equipment and, in particular, be as clean shaven as is necessary to ensure an effective facial seal.

Question:
What does “clean-shaven” mean? How clean-shaven does a worker have to be?

Answer:
The Oxford Dictionary defines “clean-shaven” as being “without beard, whiskers, moustache.”

The purpose of the requirement to be clean-shaven is to attain a perfect seal of the respiratory equipment against the face. The fit is important to keep contaminants out. Since respiratory equipment is often required in emergency situations where there is not time to do repeated fit tests, WorkSafeNB advises employers and employees that an employee should be freshly clean-shaven when performing any work that may require a respirator for the task or for rescue.

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