Dust control technology usage patterns in the drywall finishing industry.
J Occup Environ Hyg 2009 Jun; 6(6):315-323
A telephone survey was conducted to quantify drywall finishing industry usage rates of dust control technology, identify barriers to technology adoption, and explore firm owner perception of risk. Industry use of the following technologies was described: wet methods, respiratory protection, pole sanders, ventilated sanders, and low-dust joint compound. A survey instrument composed of both Likert-type scaled items and open-ended items was developed and administered by telephone to the census population of the owners of member firms of trade associations: Finishing Contractors Association and Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industries. Of 857 firms, 264 interviews were completed. Along with descriptive statistics, results were analyzed to examine effects of firm size and union affiliation on responses. Responses to open-ended items were analyzed using content analysis procedures. Firm owners rated the risk of dust to productivity and customer satisfaction as low-moderate. Half rated the dust as having some impact on worker health, with higher impacts indicated by owners of small firms. Among the available control technologies, respiratory protection was used most frequently. Several barriers to implementation of the more effective control technologies were identified. Barriers associated with technology usability, productivity, and cost, as well as misperceptions of risk, should be addressed to improve dust control in the drywall finishing industry.
Dust-control; Dust-particles; Dusts; Risk-factors; Exposure-levels; Construction-materials; Construction; Construction-industry; Pollutants; Respiration; Respirators; Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Ventilation-equipment; Statistical-analysis; Workers; Work-environment; Work-areas;
Author Keywords: construction work; drywall; dust; dust control; perception of risk
Deborah E. Young-Corbett, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Myers-Lawson School of Construction, 310B Bishop Favrao Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University