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NIOSH/BLS 2001/2002 national survey of respirator use and practices.

Doney-B; Groce-D; Campbell-D; Greskevitch-M; Middendorf-P; Syamlal-G; Bang-K; Hoffman-W
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 10-15, 2003, Dallas, Texas. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2003 May; :52
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted a nationwide respirator survey through the United States Department of Labor/Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The purpose of the survey was to evaluate respirator use and practice that could aid in guiding NIOSH respirator certification and research. The survey was mailed in August 2001 to 40,000 establishments representing all of the private sector major industry divisions. The survey allowed us to project findings to the 2-digit Standard Industrial Classification level. The information gathered in the questionnaire included: voluntary vs. required use, number of workers wearing respirators, types of respirators worn, agents the respirators were intended to protect against, types of fit-testing, existence and features of the written respiratory protection programs, qualifications of respirator program administrators, how fitness to wear a respirator was determined, and respirator labeling. During the 12 months prior to the survey, 4.5% of establishments and 3.1 % of employees had required respirator use. Of the establishments with employees that used respirators, 95% used air-purifying respirators, 17% used air-supplied respirators, and 10% used respirators for emergency purposes. The highest rates of respirator use, whether measured by percent establishments or percent employees, were found in: manufacturing; mining; construction; and agriculture, forestry, and fishing. The categories of agents most frequently protected against were: paint vapors, solvents, and dust. The questionnaire contained questions from which indicators of inadequate respirator programs were derived (e.g., employees who wore tight-fitting respirators were not fit tested). Forty-five percent of the establishments with employees that used respirators had at least five indicators of an inadequate program. The survey indicated that employees do not have the benefit of a complete respirator program in 90% of establishments using respirators.
Respirators; Workers; Respiratory-equipment; Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Air-purifiers; Mining-industry; Construction-industry; Agricultural-industry; Fishing-industry; Paints; Solvents; Dust-particles; Dusts; Particulate-dust; Particulates; Surveillance
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 10-15, 2003, Dallas, Texas
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division