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Exposure evaluation in new residential construction.

Methner-M; McKernan-J; Dennison-J
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 20-25, 2000, Orlando, Florida. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2000 May; :10
The purpose of this study was to identify and characterize potential chemical, physical, and ergonomic hazards associated with various work tasks performed at five new residential construction sites in the Denver, Colorado area. Tasks to be sampled were selected using information gathered during preliminary walk-through surveys of residential construction work sites, and information gained from the use of a newly developed exposure assessment tool. An evaluation of the identified potential health hazards was then conducted using a task-based exposure assessment method. Thirteen trades were selected for quantitative exposure assessment including: excavators; foundation pourers; framing carpenters; masons; roofers; plumbers; electricians; HVAC workers; insulation installers; drywall workers; painters; interior finishing carpenters; and flooring installers. The task-based exposure evaluation included data from worker interviews, inspections of work practices, collection of MSDSs for products used, and a qualitative assessment of potential exposures. A sampling plan, utilizing NIOSH sampling and analytical methods, was formulated to monitor potential health hazards. Sampling involved the collection of 60 personal breathing zone samples to characterize exposure to 111 potential chemical and physical agents. Qualitative ergonomic evaluations were also performed by observing the tasks performed by the 13 selected trades. Results indicate that exposures in four trades (drywall workers, insulation installers, painters, and plumbers) exceeded the ACGIH TLVsŪ, NIOSH RELs, or OSHA PELs for particulates, solvents, and metal fume. Noise exposures exceeding the OSHA action level of 85 dBA were observed for six construction trades (framing carpenters, roofers, flooring installers, foundation pourers, plumbers, and HVAC workers). The most predominant ergonomic hazards observed were hand-arm and whole-body vibration. A general lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) was observed for all trades. These results suggest that residential construction workers need to receive training on the importance and use of PPE, as well as other controls, to reduce exposures to selected chemical and physical agents.
Construction; Construction-workers; Construction-materials; Construction-equipment; Construction-industry; Hazards; Health-hazards; Ergonomics; Exposure-assessment; Employee-exposure; Work-environment; Task-performance; Quantitative-analysis; Excavation-equipment; Cements; Concretes; Masons; Roofers; Painters; Plumbers; Electrical-workers; Woodworkers; Insulation-workers; Ventilation-systems; Floors; Tile-workers; Job-analysis; Health-surveys; Questionnaires; Work-practices; Qualitative-analysis; Chemical-properties; Sampling; Air-sampling; Chemical-agent-detectors; Physical-properties; Particulates; Metal-fumes; Solvents; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Noise; Noise-exposure; Noise-levels; Vibration; Vibration-exposure; Personal-protective-equipment; Control-systems; Training
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 20-25, 2000, Orlando, Florida