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What's the difference? Comparing surveys of industrial respirator use.
Groce D; Bang K; Doney B; Young R
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2001 Jun; :70
This report compares the findings of several nationwide surveys of respirator use, and explores the possible reasons for differences in the findings of those surveys. The comparison was carried out in preparation for a new nationwide survey of respirator use. The primary types of survey data sought for comparison were those relating to the percentage of workers using respirators and industries where respirators are used. Four surveys of respirator use were identified for comparison. In selecting the four surveys' it was necessary to eliminate some reports and surveys due to limited scope of coverage - e.g., one industry, one state. The four surveys selected were: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III; National Occupational Exposure Survey (NOES); the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) "PPE Survey" and "PPE Cost Survey." NHANES III estimated that 20.7% of all workers use respirators. The comparable estimates from the other surveys were: NOES, 2.9%; OSHA's PPE Survey, 5.1 %; OSHA's PPE Cost Survey, 5.9%. Wider differences are evident when one compares the different survey data within specific industries. For example, NHANES III estimated that 40.4% of all construction workers use respirators. The comparable estimates from the other surveys were: NOES, 3.8%; OSHA's PPE Survey, 17.6%; OSHA's PPE Cost Survey, 20.2%. The differences can be attributed to a combination of the following factors: differences in date of survey; differences in strategy for respondent selection; differences in method of collecting data; differences in wording of questions. This finding is a reminder that public health investigators must be cognizant of the nature of data sources and their inherent biases and weaknesses, as well as the strengths of the data sources.
Respirators; Workers; Work-environment; Work-areas; Statistical-analysis; Construction; Construction-workers; Questionnaires; Information-systems; Information-retrieval-systems
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana
Page last reviewed: May 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division