ProGARM, the UK’s leading Arc Flash and FR protection specialists, based in East Yorkshire, has developed a new flame-retardant (FR), anti-viral, reusable face mask, designed to offer some protection against both COVID-19 as well as injuries caused by fire or an Arc Flash.

The new washable face mask is manufactured from three layers of fabric; meta-aramid, Viscose FR and bi-component PTFE/PU FR membrane, which helps to provide anti-viral protection to help guard an operative’s face, nose and mouth against respiratory droplets and airborne particles. The mask is also designed to help protect against the dangers of an Arc Flash or fire risk, and eliminate the risk that non-FR face masks pose, whilst also providing a potent prevention tool against the spread of infection.

Mark Lant, technical expert at ProGARM, explained: “As COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are eased, increasing numbers of operatives are returning to work and must now adhere to additional health and safety measures, including the use of face masks, to prevent potentially spreading the virus.

“However, the face masks that many operatives are wearing are manufactured from everyday materials, which can burn or melt into the worker’s skin and cause significant burns and injury, should an Arc Flash or fire incident occur.

“For this reason, we’ve designed a new FR face mask which can provide both fire and anti-viral protection. The FR face mask can provide peace of mind that the new health and safety measures to combat the spread of Coronavirus won’t impact upon workers’ protection against an Arc Flash.

“We noticed from a lot of our customers that there was a real requirement for FR face masks, and since we’ve launched the product, the demand has been huge!”

ProGARM, based in Gilberdyke, also produces Arc Flash protective visors, as well as a range of non-FR, anti-viral and anti-bacterial face masks.