The quality of respirator programs: an analysis from OSHA compliance data.
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1985 Dec; 46(12):709-715
The quality of various respiratory programs was evaluated in typical workplaces. The history of compliance with the OSHA standard concerning use of respirators was reviewed. The frequency and distribution of violations of these standards was presented, and implications for the effectiveness of respirator programs was considered. Most of the analysis was confined to health inspections conducted in the manufacturing industries between October of 1976 to September of 1982. In 55.6 percent of the cases where respirators were used to protect employees from excessive levels of air contaminants, the programs for respiratory protection were deficient in one or more elements. This brought about increased potential for exposure to employees. The overall level of compliance with the standard in the manufacturing industries did not improve significantly over the course of this study even though extensive work was undertaken by OSHA to enforce the respirator standard. However, the lower citation rate in follow up inspections indicated that compliance activity was effective in improving respirator programs in the workplaces where violations were cited. It is recommended that increased surveillance of respirator programs be made through employer initiatives along with OSHA enforcement and consultations, and that monitoring of inhalation exposure of respirator users be used to check the effectiveness of the respirator program where possible.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Inhalants; Workplace-studies; Standards; Personal-protective-equipment; Safety-programs
American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Environmental Health Sciences Johns Hopkins University 615 North Wolfe Street Baltimore, MD 21205