In a daily news conference on the coronavirus last week, Vice President Mike Pence urged construction companies to donate unused N95 respirator masks, and similar personal protective equipment, to healthcare workers on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus.
"We are asking construction companies that our president knows very well from his background — we're asking them to donate their N95 masks to their local hospitals and also forgo making new orders,” said Vice President Pence.
President Donald Trump last week also signed legislation allowing companies to sell N95 masks intended for industrial use directly to healthcare workers.
N95 masks filter out small particles in the air and are very popular with painters, sanders and drywall contractors to protect against silica and other nuisance dust. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, they have been in high demand and are currently sold out among many legitimate online retailers.
NAHB urges members to contact their local and state HBAs, public health offices and hospitals if they wish to make donations. There are also a number of sites that are attempting to match donors with healthcare workers in need of masks, like Mask Match. NAHB is also encouraging members to heed the Vice President’s call to halt orders of the masks.
N95 masks are an important tool builders and trades professionals use to comply with OSHA’s standard on respirable silica. NAHB has developed resources for members to use to protect workers and stay in compliance with standards in the absence of the masks.
For more information on protecting workers without these masks, please contact Rob Matuga.Access the latest NAHB information and resources for the coronavirus response at the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response page on nahb.org.