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Fitness for duty evaluations in hazardous materials firefighters.

Authors
Kales-SN; Aldrich-JM; Polyhronopoulos-GN; Artzerounian-D; Gassert-T; Hu-H; Kelsey-K; Sweet-C; Christiani-DC
Source
J Occup Environ Med 1998 Oct; 40(10):925-931
NIOSHTIC No.
20030560
Abstract
We analyzed results from the medical examinations of 340 hazardous materials firefighters and applied various objective standards in simulated fitness for duty determinations. Ten percent had elevated blood pressures, 13% had far visual acuity worse than 20/30 in one or both eyes, and 38% had abnormal audiometry. The strictest standards for resting blood pressure and corrected visual acuity would have failed 2% and 1% of the cohort, respectively. For audiometry, 0%-5% of the cohort would have failed, depending on the hearing requirements set. The strictest hearing standard did not allow for corrective devices so that few failures would be reversible. Visual and audiometric testing and measurement of resting blood pressure all have significant clinical yields. Studies of simulated firefighting are needed to establish minimum hearing requirements and determine whether corrective devices can be worn safely during duty.
Keywords
Hazardous-materials; Hazards; Health-hazards; Fire-fighters; Fire-fighting; Blood-pressure; Vision-disorders; Audiometry; Hearing-disorders; Hearing-impairment; Hearing-loss; Simulation-methods; Occupational-health; Protective-equipment; Protective-clothing
Contact
Stefanos N. Kales, MD, MPH, Occupational Medicine, Department of Medicine, The Cambridge Hospital, 1493 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
CODEN
JOEMFM
Publication Date
19981001
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
stefokali@aol.com
Funding Amount
150000
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
1999
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-K01-OH-000156
Issue of Publication
10
ISSN
1076-2752
Source Name
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
State
MA
Performing Organization
Occupational Medicine, Cambridge Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts
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