Depending on the trade you work in or the site you’re working at, there will be a time in your career where you are required to wear a respirator. You will generally go for fit testing to learn how to put your respirator together, take it apart, clean it, do positive or negative pressure tests and wear it properly. In order for your respirator to do its job, you will need a proper seal. Which means being clean shaven. This goes for all sideburns, goatees, beards, mustaches, fu manchus or stubble. I know big beards and mustaches are all the craze right now… (Thank you hipsters) but as fashionable as these man manes are, they could also be deadly. So many workers believe they are still getting a tight seal with facial hair… Human hairs are just tiny right? Wrong, when compared to a microscopic fume particle, human hairs are huge. Meaning all those itty bitty particles are going right past your respirator and into your lungs. Now if you’re working with poisonous fumes, asbestos or other particulates, things are about to get hairy. So even for you poor souls that take a month to get some patchy stubble, it’s got to go. As for the men that have been growing a beard since they were 9, you may need to shave before work and again at work to keep your scruff at bay. Either way, if you are required to wear a respirator at work, keep your face shaved. I promise it will grow on you.