Respirator use among western Pennsylvania surface miners.
Franco-S; Cocalis-J; Mauger-E; Stricklin-K
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia. Fairfax, VA: American Industrial Hygiene Association, 1998 May; :62
Respirator use among western Pennsylvania surface miners was evaluated as part of a silicosis screening survey. This survey was sponsored by a partnership between the Pennsylvania Chronic Respiratory Disease Program, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the Penn State College of Medicine. This report summarizes the results of that screening regarding the use of respirators. Questionnaires were administered and completed by 664 surface miners that addressed work habits and respirator usage patterns. The majority of the workers were male, white of non-Hispanic origin, and employed. The mean age was 47 years (range of 22 to 87). A large percentage of workers were found to have radiographic evidence consistent with silicosis. Analysis of questionnaires suggested that improper use of respirators was common. A total of 507 (76.4%) of surface miners reported. their companies provided dust respirators. More than half (55.1 %) of all miners reported not using a respirator at all. Of the 294 workers who reported using a respirator, 40.8% (120) reported using it all or most of the time, and only 27.6% (81) reported being fit-tested and trained in using a respirator. Interfering facial hair was reported by 31% (91) of the miners. As a result NIOSH and MSHA administered. a silicosis prevention special emphasis program that targeted surface miners. The objective included respirator usage training, and healthy work habits education. Fitting, training, availability and proper usage are all necessary to effectively prevent silicosis among at-risk populations.
Mining-industry; Surface-mining; Respirators; Respiratory-equipment; Face-masks; Personal-protective-equipment; Silica-dusts; Medical-screening; Silicosis; Respiratory-system-disorders; Health-surveys; Questionnaires; Miners; Behavior; Work-practices; Dust-masks; Training; Safety-education
American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition, May 9-15, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia