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F5.1 Using the Extended Parallel Process Model to Develop and Evaluate Silicosis Prevention Materials for Masonry Workers and Contractors-Day BT, Tan-Wilhelm D

Overexposure to crystalline silica is well documented in the construction industry, especially in brick laying and masonry. According to a recent study, approximately 17,400 masonry and plastering workers may be exposed to at least five times the NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL) for crystalline silica and of these workers, an estimated 80 percent may be exposed to at least 10 times the NIOSH REL.

A study was designed for the purpose of educating both non-union and union contractors and workers about the hazards of silica dust. The study involved collaborations with the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craft Workers, North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association, and the Amerisure Insurance Company. A two part study was implemented: first, a series of six focus groups were conducted with both masonry workers and contractors to assess worker and contractor concerns related to dust in the workplace and their threat and efficacy perceptions regarding silica dust and respiratory protection methods. Second, the results of the focus group discussions were analyzed and then incorporated into educational materials that were implemented and evaluated in a 2x2 factorial, pre-post test experimental design. The educational materials were developed using a framework based on the Extended Parallel Process Model. Pre and post questionnaires assessed threat, efficacy, behavior, and safety climate to evaluate changes related to the educational materials. It is expected that the educational materials will increase perceptions of threat and efficacy among contractors and workers; and particularly among the non-union participants. Work site observations will be conducted at both control and experimental group locations to determine if work site behavior was affected by the program.


F5.2 Expert Systems for Communication in Occupational Safety and Health-Botkin A

OS&H managers must communicate rules and regulations to a wide variety of audiences with different levels of understanding and needs. Limitations of staff availability generally preclude a personal tailored answer for each question and concern. One application that solves this problem is the expert system.

An expert system is based on a series of if...then statements. These statements represent the parameters of a human expert's knowledge or the agency's regulation. The user of an expert system is asked a series of questions derived from the if...then statements. Based on the responses to the questions, the computer program then responds with the information or guidance that is needed by the user. The expert system allows repeatable and verifiable instructions to be communicated to users based on the knowledge of subject matter experts.

OSHA has developed a series of these expert systems to assist its regulated community in complying with the directives of the agency. One example of this is the Hazard Awareness Expert Advisor, which assists small businesses in understanding the OSHA regulatory system by identifying those regulations that are applicable to their situation. It asks questions about the industrial or commercial processes, operations, and other characteristics of the facility where the business is located. It then identifies those regulatory passages which the owner should further investigate.

Not every regulatory issue benefits from the development of a system, but many problems that are characterized as routine by an expert prove daunting to those seeking to comply with regulations. By providing expert systems guidance, the agency can free the time of human experts for more complex problems, and provide the regulated community an easy avenue of information.


F5.3 Key Learnings From Electrical Safety Workshops Sponsored by IEEE 1992-2000-Floyd HL, Eastwood K, Bonner S, Jamil S, Liggett DP, Pace DA, Satish C

Following the issuance of OSHA 1910 subpart S in 1990, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) organized an annual 3 day workshop for preventing workplace injuries from electrical hazards. The first workshop was held in 1992 with 37 participants. By 2000, it grew to 150 people from more than 70 industrial companies and organizations. The theme, "Changing the Electrical Safety Culture", targets assumptions, values, and beliefs that define current culture and that may be limiting breakthrough improvements in product designs, work practices, and managing systems. Attendees have these areas of interest: facilities design, construction, plant operation and maintenance, improved safety products and, training and safety services, government agencies, forensic engineering, standards development, legal and medical professionals.

The workshops focused on the practical application of codes, standards, technology, and implementation methods that reduce the risk of electrical injury in the workplace. The topics included: content of government regulations, update on evolving codes and standards, design practices for reduced risk, practices for assuring equipment integrity, personal protective equipment, arc flash hazard analysis, employee training, audit techniques, medical research of electrical injuries, safety program design and implementation, accident case histories.

The workshops have served as forums to advance technology, establish best work practices and accelerate improvement in standards and regulations to reduce electrical incidents, prevent injuries, and reduce the economic impact of mishaps in critical electrical energy and control systems. They have accelerated the normal evolution in the "culture" of electrical safety, and have proven to be unique offerings to facilitate and accelerate advancements in both the development and application of codes, standards, regulations, product design and work practices. The small, initial network has expanded to include participants from many corporations and professional organizations, and has linked professionals and centers of excellence in industry, engineering, government, and medicine.


F5.4 Agricultural Commodity Based Safety Programming: Using Florida Citrus as a Model-Lehtola CJ, Brown CM, Andrews LE

Traditional approaches for agricultural worker safety were developed for areas of the United States where growing seasons are well defined, the number of major commodities is small, and the scope of agricultural tasks is relatively limited. Therefore, safety messages and programs for these workers can be fairly uniform and timed to coincide neatly with the annual cycles of planting and harvesting.

By contrast, Florida produces over 40 major commodities, which produce over $1 million per year each. However, variety of crops is only one aspect of Florida's traditional agricultural diversity. The commodities differ as to annual schedule, required equipment, job tasks, and workers. The hired labor force is comprised of both migrants and permanent residents with varied educational and literacy levels and from many national and linguistic backgrounds. Operations, as well, vary across the state. In the panhandle, small, privately owned farms depend on the family for labor. In central and south Florida, typical farms are large and commercially owned and operated.

Florida farm workers require safety programs developed around the needs of specific commodities. Early research in this area has focused on Florida's citrus industry.

A commodity-targeted approach to safety can be developed by profiling a specific commodity in terms of: component tasks, steps required for each task, time of year, required equipment/tools, the workers (literacy, language, or culture considerations), known problems, and major changes expected in the next 5-10 years.

This paper presents a methodology for developing commodity-targeted safety programs. Research results from efforts in the citrus industry are used as an example of how to use the programs in commodity-specific management decision-making models.


F5.5 Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Tailored Website for Construction Safety and Health-Donlin M, Linn H, Olevitch L, Tan-Wilhelm D, Day B, Lukwago S, Kreuter M, Rowel R

A tailored health or safety message is one that is customized for an individual user based on that user's responses to a set of assessment questions. Assessment questions ascertain characteristics of the user including but not limited to behaviors, intentions, attitudes, knowledge, work experience and practices, health beliefs, and self-efficacy. Specific responses to assessment questions or combinations of specific responses lead to the retrieval of customized messages that are dynamically combined in a print or electronic document and returned to the user. Computer tailoring has been evaluated for several important health topics among at-risk populations, including diet, injury prevention, smoking cessation and mammography. This study is the first application of computer tailoring for occupational safety and health topics among industry-based populations, such as the residential building contractors studied here.

This research compares the effectiveness of four intervention programs to increase knowledge, positive safety and health program practices, and perceptions of self-efficacy of construction contractors related to the risk of falls from elevations and exposure to crystalline silica dust among their workers. The interventions include: a tailored Website, a nontailored Website, tailored printed material delivered by direct mail, and nontailored printed material delivered by direct mail. A study population of 250 homebuilders has been recruited. Implementation will commence in June/July 2000, and findings will be available for presentation at NOIRS 2000 in October.



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Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Division of Safety Research