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Measuring worker exposure to work zone equipment.

NOIRS 2003-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2003, October 28-30, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2003 Oct; :22
NIOSH is evaluating interventions to reduce the exposure of workers on foot to injury hazards around highway construction equipment. As part of this evaluation, visual observation methods were pilot tested on an asphalt paving operation. For the pilot test, two visual observation methods were developed to provide overlapping surveillance of worker exposure to moving construction equipment. First, video cameras were positioned at strategic angles to the worker/equipment interface. Second, field observers were stationed on both sides of the operation in close proximity to the work. These observers, who had been briefed on the equipment hazard areas, followed the operation making notes of worker exposure to hazard areas. By using the two methods, data were obtained for four different sub-operations: milling, laying geotextile fabric, paving base course asphalt, and paving finish course asphalt. These data were merged to determine the total number of exposures, the vehicle hazard area quadrant of each exposure, and the duration of the exposure. To develop a functional system for collecting exposure data, the relative advantages and disadvantages of both methods were assessed. One disadvantage of the observers is that they miss events entirely if distracted or recording a prior event. Improvements to the data collection recording sheet may lessen distraction time, but will not eliminate it. The videotape is advantageous in that it can be used to capture missed events and/or verify those that were observed. Furthermore, exposure times are much more precisely recorded on the tapes. The disadvantage of taping is the inability for the viewer to accurately judge depth. However, this can be offset by simultaneously taping from many angles. By making critical improvements to each of the methods and integrating them into a complete system, a valuable field collection tool for measuring worker exposure to equipment is being developed.
Occupational-exposure; Construction-industry; Construction-equipment; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Construction-workers; Asphalt-cements; Asphalt-industry; Road-construction; Road-surfacing
Publication Date
Document Type
Abstract; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Traumatic Injuries
Source Name
NOIRS 2003-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2003, October 28-30, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania