Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2005-0032-2985, Petersen-Dean Roofing Systems, Phoenix, Arizona.
On October 29, 2004, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a request from the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers Local 135 to conduct a health hazard evaluation (HHE) among Petersen-Dean Roofing Systems employees at a job site in Phoenix, Arizona. The request listed silica and noise as potential hazards to roofers. This is one of four HHE requests received from the union asking NIOSH to examine silica and noise exposures among roofers in Arizona. On January 11-12, 2005, NIOSH investigators conducted an HHE at a residential work site in Phoenix, Arizona. Dust and noise measurements were taken during residential roofing operations. In addition, bulk samples of roof tile dust were collected to determine the silica content. NIOSH investigators selected homes where employees were cutting and laying roof tiles throughout the day. Noise exposures for the five roofers ranged from 85.5 to 96.3 decibels on an A-weighted scale (dBA). All full-shift time-weighted average (TWA) noise values exceeded the NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL), three exceeded the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) action level (AL), and none exceeded the OSHA permissible exposure limit (PEL). The 8-hour TWA for the total dust samples collected on employees ranged from 1.7 to 16 mg/m3, and for respirable dust samples, from 0.3 to 2.9 mg/m3. The respirable silica 8-hour TWAs collected on employees ranged from 0.04 to 0.44 mg/m3. One TWA for total dust exceeded the OSHA PEL of 15 mg/m3 for particulate not otherwise regulated. Respirable dust sampling results indicate that four of seven TWAs exceeded the general industry OSHA PEL, and three TWAs exceeded the construction industry OSHA PEL for respirable silica. Six of the seven TWAs for respirable silica also indicated concentrations exceeding NIOSH and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists criteria. Three TWA noise values exceeded the OSHA AL of 85 dBA, and all TWA results exceeded the NIOSH REL. Medical screening was conducted on February 22-24, 2005. Employees from all four roofing companies were invited to participate if they had at least 5 years of experience as a roofer. The medical screening included a questionnaire, lung function test (spirometry), and a chest x-ray. Of the 118 employees who participated in all three tests, 13 were Petersen-Dean employees. Most roofers who participated in the medical screening had normal lung function. None of those with abnormal lung function had moderate or severe impairments. After controlling for the effects of smoking, NIOSH investigators found that lung function decreased with increasing years of dry cutting cement tiles. No chest x-rays showed findings consistent with silicosis. An occupational health hazard due to exposures to respirable silica and noise existed for employees of Petersen-Dean Roofing Systems. Recommendations for controlling workplace exposures include reducing or eliminating exposures by implementing engineering controls and enforcing the use of personal protective equipment under the OSHA respirator program guidelines. The employer should develop a training program regarding the potential health hazards of respirable silica exposure, and establish an employee medical monitoring program as specified by the OSHA Special Emphasis Program for Silicosis. Additional recommendations are included at the end of this report.
Region-9; Hazards-Confirmed; Silica-dusts; Quartz-dust; Dusts; Respirable-dust; Silicosis; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Lung-disorders; Lung-fibrosis; Noise; Construction-industry; Roofing-and-sheet-metal-work; Heat-stress; Fall-protection; Construction-Search;
Author Keywords: Roofing Contractors; silica; quartz; dust; total dust; respirable dust; respirable silica; silicosis; noise; construction; roofing; fall protection; lung function; heat stress