Medical fitness evaluation for respirator users: results of a national survey of private sector employers.
Syamlal-G; Doney-B; Bang-KM; Greskevitch-M; Groce-D; Ganocy-S; Hoffman-W
J Occup Environ Med 2007 Jun; 49(6):691-699
Objective: To provide information on medical evaluation procedures for respirator use in private sector establishments. Methods: In 2001, data on respirator use and practices were collected in a survey of private sector establishments. Results: Of establishments where respirators were required, 46% did not evaluate employees' medical fitness. Evaluations for fitness increased with establishment size, ranging from 35% in small establishments (1-10 workers) to 95% in large establishments (greater than or equal to 1000 workers). Questionnaire with a follow-up examination, as needed, was the most common method of evaluating medical fitness (48%). Conclusions: Results suggest that about half of all private sector establishments where respirators are required do not comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements for medical fitness evaluations. Improved awareness among employers and workers and identification of methods to increase medical evaluation practices, especially among smaller establishments, is needed.
Respirators; Medical-examinations; Questionnaires; Regulations; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Work-practices; Work-environment; Worker-health; Physical-fitness; Surveillance
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies , Mail Stop HG-900.2, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine