Additional policy for the use of facemasks

Additional policy for the use of facemasks:

  1. In laboratories, classrooms and technical areas
  2. During strenuous and/or extended periods of work

  3. For individuals with disabilities or illnesses

Facemasks in laboratories, animal housing and technical areas

  • The ground rule is that the use of facemasks is compulsory in all WUR buildings while moving through the building. This includes labs, greenhouses, animal housing and technical areas.
  • Facemasks are worn outside of all education/research rooms. Inside labs, greenhouses, animal housing and technical areas, exceptions can be made based on the following:
    • In chemistry, biology and radiology labs, the wearing of facemasks is not advised if there is an increased risk of exposure to hazardous materials, radiation or biological agents through, for example, increased hand-face-contact resulting from wearing a facemask. When in doubt, the KAM/AMV coordinator is called on to advise.
    • The management, professor or business unit manager, based on the unit’s KAM/AMV coordinator’s advice, may decide to divert from the obligation in certain rooms or areas, for reasons of safety (such as in cases where the use of Bunsen burners could create a fire hazard).
    • If there is an exception to the general rule imposing the mandatory use of facemasks, this will be indicated per lab/greenhouse/location concerned.
  • A face shield (without facemask) is not considered an adequate replacement for a facemask.

Facemasks during strenuous or long periods of activity

  • Whether or not facemasks are required during strenuous activities or extensive periods of labour, is determined by the management, professor or business-unit manager, based on the advice of the department’s KAM/AMV coordinator. This decision will take into account aspects such as physical exertion, working conditions and possible control measures.

Facemasks for persons with disabilities or illnesses

  • In cases where individuals cannot wear a facemask as a result of an illness or disability, we follow the government directive (click here for more information). This site lists the disabilities and illnesses for which an exemption applies (examples include facial disabilities, lung disease, mental disorders or dependency on non-verbal communication).
  • The person concerned must be able to prove they fall under the exemptions. For further government information click here or here.
  • Individuals unable to wear a facemask due to a disability or disease are requested to report to their supervisor or KAM-coordinator. This way, should an issue arise with enforcers, one may refer to the supervisor and/or KAM-coordinator. Moreover, the supervisor or KAM-coordinator may also check whether other COVID related measures affect the person’s work. In case of doubt, the company doctor may be consulted. Reporting to your supervisor or KAM-coordinator is voluntary and may not be recorded for reasons of privacy.