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Respirator use and practices by National Demolition Association member companies.

Doney B; Greskevitch M; Groce D
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 13-16, 2006, Chicago, Illinois. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2006 May; :61
Respiratory illnesses caused by airborne hazards at the workplace can be prevented by adequate control measures. In the absence of adequate engineering and administrative controls, proper respirator selection and use is essential. NIOSH conducted eight focus groups during March-November 2004 arranged by the National Demolition Association. The association represents the majority (approximately 80%) of U.S. demolition work in terms of revenue. The objectives of the focus groups were to identify the types of airborne hazards present at workplaces, control measures used to reduce these hazards, types of respirators used, and barriers impacting respirator use. Participants reported exposures to abrasive blasting agents, arsenic, asbestos, cadmium, carbon monoxide, chlorine, concrete dust and silica, dust from drywall, diesel, and gasoline fuels, fluorine, hydrogen sulfide, lead, man-made mineral fibers, mold, pigeon droppings, PCBs, ionizing radiation, and welding fumes. Engineering control measures included using water sprays, mechanization, longer torches and standing upwind when cutting, local ventilation, enclosed equipment cabs, and scrubbers on diesel-powered front-end loaders for interior work. Respirators were used where the feasible engineering controls could not reduce the exposures below acceptable limits. Barriers to proper respirator use included high ambient temperatures, fogging of full facepiece respirators, difficulty wearing other personal protective equipment with respirators, reduced peripheral vision, difficulty communicating and breathing, cultural differences with non-English speakers, low literacy, high worker turnover, and short duration of employment for laborers. Overall, participants were knowledgeable about and had implemented OSHA respirator program elements. This poster will describe the focus group findings and the current NIOSH education and intervention strategies to overcome the barriers identified. The findings and conclusions in this abstract have not been formally disseminated by NIOSH and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy.
Respirators; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Airborne-particles; Occupational-health; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-exposure; Respiratory-system-disorders; Safety-measures; Workers; Worker-health; Blasting-agents; Engineering-controls; Airborne-dusts; Dusts; Dust-particles; Dust-exposure; Silicates; Silica-dusts; Respiration; Personal-protective-equipment; Surveillance
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 13-16, 2006, Chicago, Illinois
Page last reviewed: August 26, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division