Stop discrimination! Bearded Muslim, Sikh, Jewish can wear FFP3 mask using Singh Thattha

Stop discrimination! Bearded Muslim, Sikh, Jewish can wear FFP3 mask using Singh Thattha

5 July 2022
Signatures: 523Next Goal: 1,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Rajinder Singh

Faith observant bearded are facing discrimination in healthcare and other industries where they are required to wear respirator masks because of the choice they have to make- to either shave, or not to be considered for the job. A innovative solution has been described by Dr Rajinder Pal Singh, a transplant surgeon in Manchester, called ‘Singh Thattha technique’, using under mask beard cover to fit the respirator mask. This was further tested by Sikh Doctors and Dentists association with help from its president Dr Sukhpal Gill, and other eminent researchers Professor Gurch Randhawa, Dr CS Ubhi, Dr  Sukhdev Singh et al and published in a reputed peer reviewed journal as scientifically valid. 

And was also quoted in prestigious CDC

This has successfully allowed bearded wearers in UK to pass the Fit test required to wear the mask in various prestigious institutions like NHS, Scotland Yard, UKBA etc. 

Further research on this was done by Sikhs in New South Wales in Australia, and a further study was published in the same journal adding significant strength to the under mask beard cover technique:

However the respective departments in UK such as NHS, UKBA, Police, Prison etc cannot officially sign off these ‘test pass’ as the final ‘authority’ rests with Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to endorse the beard cover technique.
Initially NHS England published our findings but later took it off their website pending HSE approval.

A joint letter was also written to Medical Director of NHS England, Dr Stephen Powis by Jewish, Muslim and Sikh Associations of UK in November 2020.

We also wrote to HSE to waive off the need to shave to do a Fit Test and allow faith observant bearded to use an under mask beard cover instead. But HSE are unable to override the ‘shaving’ need because it refers to mask manufacturer ‘guidelines’ which ‘recommends’ face to be clean shaven. However, the shaving policy for Fit Test need was clearly not made with equality impact assessment. And at that time, when guidelines were made, the innovative solution we have published was also not available.
The New South Wales province of Australia have been culture competent and consider the manufacturer specifications as ‘guidance’ rather than requirements, and have allowed implementation of our innovative solution and the bearded mask wearer are allowed to Fit test using the under mask beard cover.

This has also been accepted by Victoria and other Western Australian provinces and now being considered in New Zealand.

Western Australian health authorities were able to override the Mask manufacturer shave policy in pandemic supported by our scientific proof of validity of under mask beard cover. They acknowledged the fallacy of the old policy of manufacturers and got round the shaving need by considering these as guidelines only and not as rules.
Since the FFP3 mask remains the same across all international borders, its Fit Test guidelines cannot have different interpretations in UK and Australia, and we see no reason why we shouldn’t be doing the same in UK. It’s sad that although the innovative technique was developed in UK, other countries are able to benefit from it, whereas our own citizens are suffering due to inadvertent discrimination.

It will be a great relief for faith observant bearded in UK if Parliament too could override the shaving requirement to Fit Test to wear the FFP3 mask in line with the flexibility allowed by Australian Health authorities by letting individuals be tested for Fit by applying under mask beard cover. Thousands of faith observant bearded Muslim, Sikh and Jews are currently being discriminated in jobs in UK that require a respirator FFP3 mask in healthcare and other industries, and it will be a safe, wise, welcome, kind and compassionate move by the UK Parliament.

Allow Fit test for bearded individuals who cannot shave by allowing them to cover the beard instead using the under mask beard cover technique of Singh Thattha described. And let the Fit test itself decide whether or not the seal is adequate.


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Signatures: 523Next Goal: 1,000
Support now