AT WHS - When to wear which face mask

Posted on
April 22, 2020

There is a plethora of info on how to use PPE, particularly face masks, so your executive has determined this is the safest approach.

At all times the minimum standard for patient care is to wear a surgical mask when attending any patient and to apply a surgical mask to any patient or passenger (family member) you transport when practical to do so - if you’re attending a known or suspected COVID-19 patient, we recommend you wear a P2 face mask instead of a surgical mask, and don’t re-use P2s as they’re single use only.

Sometimes either mask type will need to be replaced during patient care due to soiling, lengthy time at a scene or longer transport or ramping times – but be extremely cautious with your PPE doffing and donning protocols when this happens, including using a spotter if needed, especially when tired.

Fit Checking P2:

It’s critical you get a mask that fits, for blokes this includes being clean shaven, and the RTU is completing a fit-check process for everyone to ensure the P2 mask gives you an adequate seal, but if you don’t get a good seal you’re entitled to do a fit-test which is a more thorough process and may include a different type of P2 mask.

AT’s intent is to not have individually purchased P2 masks, but we know some people cannot get the required seal with the standard supplied masks. If this applies to you AT must provide you with adequate PPE or ensure you’re not exposed to COVID-19 without it – normally this would mean being removed from the dispatch list until you do have adequate protective equipment.

Alternate masks are hard to get, but this does not remove the need for you to have appropriate protection – you’re not required to be at higher risk just because the provided PPE doesn’t fit.

Changing Information:
If at any time it becomes apparent that the patient meets potential orconfirmed case definitions, you should remove yourself from the scene, add the appropriate transmission-based precautions (P2 and gown etc) before returning.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me via HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or

For more information about this or any other industrial matter, members should contact HACSUassist on 1300 880 032 or email or complete our online contact form