How to don on and don off a disposable N95 respirator

How to don on and don off a disposable N95 respirator


Masks and respirators help limit the spread or inhalation of dust or germs.

The N95 is a protective mask with a fine mesh synthetic polymer filter. The number 95 means that the mask filters out 95% or more of airborne particles, including splatter that may contain bacteria, viruses or other harmful elements.


  1. Make sure you have no facial hair when putting on the mask:

Why? Facial hair prevents an efficient seal of the disposable N95-type mask. Various particles such as dust can pass through the sides of the mask and infiltrate the wearer's respiratory tract. It is crucial that the wearer is completely shaved, and the mask is in direct contact with the skin to ensure a tight seal.

To learn more about the impact of facial hair on the effectiveness of masks, check out this resource.

  1. Ensure that the mask is in good condition by performing a visual inspection:

The filter part of the mask must not be damaged, and there must not have any tears or deformations in the mask. Validate that it has not previously been in contact with infectious substances. If this is the case, the mask must be disposed of and a new one used. The sealing contour inside the mask should also be checked, as this part must remain elastic to ensure a tight seal. The elastics must not be stiff or damaged, and the seams must not be torn.


  1. Before putting on the mask, you must clean your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  2. Take the mask in the palm of your hand, the metal strip upwards, and put the mask on the chin and then on the nose.
  3. Take the top elastic strap, make sure it is straight, and bring it to the back of the head upwards (at ear level).
  4. Take the strap and bring it under the nape of the neck (at neck level).
  5. Take your middle finger and index finger and apply pressure all along the metal strip to ensure the mask is perfectly sealed.

It is important not to pinch the strip with your fingers, as this could create an opening at the top and allow particles to enter the mask.

  1. Put your hands around the mask to ensure a good seal. Inhale and exhale three times rapidly.

If nothing comes out of the mask, it is ready for use. However, if air escapes from the mask, the seal is not optimal, and it is recommended that you change it.

The respirator must be selected for each individual, according to a specific model and size to ensure the best possible seal and protection.

Fit tests allow testing and comparison of the many models of respiratory protection equipment available on the market and the selection of the most suitable ones. At SPI, we offer fit tests at your company or in one of our branches. To make an appointment, call us at 1-866-861-8111.


  1. Take the bottom strap and pass it over your head and over the mask downwards.
  2. Then, take the top strap and pull it up and remove it away from your face.

The CSA Z94.4 standard requires that all workers undergo a fit test before wearing a respirator for the first time. Respirator users must be fit-tested at least every two years, when there is a change of equipment, or even a physical change, such as weight loss.

Fit testing allows you to test and compare the many models of respiratory protection equipment available on the market and select the one that fits best. To learn more about fit testing? Click here!

All types of respirators must be adjusted and checked before each use. For example, see here how to quickly check the fit of a half mask before entering a hazardous area.

SPI also offers on-site fit testing or in one of our many branches.

To talk to an expert, call us at 1 866 861-8111