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Respirator surveillance at five Veterans Affairs medical centers.
Doney-B; Greskevitch-M; Middendorf-P; Bang-K
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 10-15, 2003, Dallas, Texas. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2003 May; :67
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) gathered information on respirator programs and use at five Veterans Affairs Medical Centers from April 16,2001, through August 14, 2002. Information was obtained through a mail-out questionnaire to management, an on-site evaluation of various departments where respirators were used, and a questionnaire distributed to workers required to use respirators. The purposes of the project were to: identify difficulties with respirators and respirator use, determine how airborne hazards were controlled, identify methods for future tracking of respirator use, share information about the respirator programs including parts of the program that worked well or could be improved, and obtain worker input on the respirator programs. Some findings include: the majority of the respirators were used to protect against biological agents (especially tuberculosis); the primary type of respirator used was a N95 or NI00 disposable half-mask respirator; two medical centers' fire departments used self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA); full-face respirators were rarely used; canister gas masks were used for ethylene oxide; and powered air-purifying respirators with a hood were used by employees with beards to protect against tuberculosis. Some of the difficulties mentioned include: maintaining the program, and conducting annual fit-testing for a large number of employees, including residents, interns, nurses, maintenance workers, and housekeeping personnel. The majority of the medical centers quantitatively fit-tested the employees. Some of the medical centers offered fit-testing on the wards to ease the time burden for employees, which improved participation.
Respirators; Respiratory-equipment; Medical-facilities; Workers; Questionnaires; Airborne-particles; Occupational-hazards; Hazards; Biological-agents; Air-purification; Air-purifying-respirators; Infectious-diseases; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Health-care-facilities; Surveillance
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 10-15, 2003, Dallas, Texas
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division