Economic and job hazard analysis of sandblasting substitutes.
NIOSH 2003 Oct; :1-8
Sandblasting produces high silica exposures (Maxfield et al, 1997, MMWR, 1997). The urgency to decrease silica exposures has produced excellent research, at NIOSH, on the industrial hygiene aspects of blasting substitutes (Mickelsen et al, 1995, Greskevitch, 1999). Yet, there has been little research into the health effects that are not associated with chemical exposures, such as ergonomic effects, and the economics of the substitutes. With all the much needed focus on technologies to decrease silica exposure, we must be mindful of introducing new hazards into the workplace. There have been numerous cases of unintended consequences resulting from well-intentioned interventions, because the focus has been on controlling a single hazard rather than assessing the full range of impacts on the work environment (Rosenberg, 1996). In order to fully evaluate an intervention, we need to take an integrated approach to the workplace. Further, for any of this research to be useful for contractors in deciding which method to choose, we need to have full cost accounting of each of the technologies. Otherwise, contractors are dependent solely on manufacturers for this information. This research investigated the range of health and economic impacts of interventions used to decrease silica exposure in the sandblasting industry.
Sand-blasters; Sand-blasting; Job-analysis; Occupational-hazards; Silica-dusts; Silicates; Industrial-hygiene; Ergonomics; Health-hazards
Beth Rosenburg, ScD, MPH, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111
Final Grant Report
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts