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Observations of respirator use by demolition companies.

Groce D; Doney B; Greskevitch M; Dejoy D; Oke C
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2007, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2007 Jun; :1
Our objective was to identify distinguishing features of respirator programs in demolition companies. Focus group data indicate that large demolition companies are attentive to respirator use, perhaps due to the potential presence of hazardous substances during routine demolition operations. These substances include silica, asbestos, lead, metal fumes, and miscellaneous chemical vapors. During 2006, NIOSH investigators visited five sizable demolition companies, including six work sites in Houston and Chicago. The purpose was to increase the knowledge base regarding policies and practices found to strengthen respirator use as well as to gain insights regarding successful respiratory protection programs. Some companies worked throughout the United States, while others worked only in Chicago or Houston. The nature of their work included demolition of industrial, commercial, and public buildings as well as industrial complexes. (The companies visited are not necessarily representative of the entire demolition industry.) The visits with demolition companies identified the following practices as important to successful respiratory protection programs: (1) a clear company priority for safety and health; (2) frequent safety meetings, specifying circumstances requiring respiratory protection, at the job site; (3) providing a safe, clean area for storing respirators; (4) easy availability of replacement respirator bodies and filters; (5) maintenance of a stable work force. Two problems with respiratory protection implementation were identified during site visits: (1) difficulties in keeping respirators clean over an extended period of time, and (2) the need to be vigilant to minimize physical interference between respirators and other personal protective equipment.
Injury-prevention; Construction; Construction-workers; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Respiratory-protection; Filter-materials; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Personal-protective-equipment; Personal-protection; Protective-equipment; Protective-measures; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Work-practices; Surveillance
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American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, June 2-7, 2007, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Page last reviewed: August 26, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division