Respirator impact on work task performance.
Harber-P; Yun-D; Santiago-S; Bansal-S; Liu-Y
J Occup Environ Med 2011 Jan; 53(1):22-26
Objective: Respirators are used to maintain work performance and protect against inhaled toxins. The study compared the effects of two commonly used respirator classes-dual cartridge half face mask (HFM) and filtering face piece (N95)-upon work productivity. Methods: 107 volunteers performed eight simulated work tasks when using the HFM and N95 respirators. Tasks included several body positions, exertion levels, and concentration requirements. Objective measures of accuracy and speed were developed for each task. Scores for each task were based on the subject's rank among all subjects. Results: All subjects were capable of performing the tasks. There were no statistically significant differences between respirator types in either task performance metric. Conclusions: Productivity impact can be measured effectively and should be considered as part of respirator design testing and when selecting the optimal respirator for a worker.
Respirators; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Face-masks; Air-purifying-respirators; Filters; Work-operations; Work-performance; Work-capability; Task-performance; Equipment-design
Philip Harber, MD, MPH, UCLA Occupational Medicine, 10880 Wilshire, #1800, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
University of California, Los Angeles