Factory Worker's Mask Technology / Science in Veneficia | World Anvil

Factory Worker's Mask

Factory Worker's Masks are used by factory workers to protect themselves from coal dust. It is the best and only way to protect against the coal particles setting on the lungs causing the Factory Workers' Disease.


It is a mask made from rubber fabric with a pair of big round glasses where eyes are. On the mouth and nose, there is a can-like filter. Inside, there are 4 layers of cloth, on which the coal dust settles so the worker can breathe clean air. Usually, a single filter lasts for the whole shift, but it can vary depending on the amount of coal dust, which settles on the cloth.

The mask is kept on the face by leather straps going around the head and neck. The mask's edges have thicker rubber with a thin filament inside. Thanks to that the mask sits tightly on the face and coal dust can't get inside.


The masks are very effective. Since their introduction, the number of cases of the Factory Workers' Disease has dropped significantly. However, it wasn't eliminated in 100% and the masks have flaws. The biggest one is that the cloth used for the filters doesn't stop all of the coal dust. This is acceptable as the risk of disease is still reduced. The other flaw is that many workers don't wear the masks properly. Often, masks don't sit tightly on their faces and there are spaces for the dust come inside.

Probably the biggest flaw of the masks is that they don't address the bacterial component of the disease. There may be less cases of people suffocating from coal in their lungs, but there are still many infection from pure hygiene. Many people talk about this, but factory owners don't listen. They believe that infections don't impair a worker's ability to work.

Access & Availability
1840 AF
Those who work with coal are obligated to wear a protective mask at all times
— A security note in a factory

Cover image: Veneficia cover by julianuc


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Time Bender
3 Jul, 2021 18:18

These factory owners seem like terrible people! They don't care about anyone but themselves it sounds like. At least less people are suffocating on coal dust now, however!

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
3 Jul, 2021 18:46

Great article! I like the design of those masks and that you thought of a bunch of flaws from them.. A problem for the mask not fitting properly would also be that we all have different shaped face and that anyone deviating for the average would have problem. Do they even sell the masks in different size or is it one fit all? Do women also do work requiring the masks? Problem we have currently is that standard masks or safety equipments are all made for men and that women are a lot shorter on average. In the UK, all the equipment for health worker are made for men but the majority of those health workers are women...   Do the managers accept that the workers change the filter early or do they insist that they finish their shift as it's how long the filter is supposed to last? Or they could even insist that the worker pay themselves replacement filters if they insist on exchanging earlier...

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