Occupational Asthma Reference

Fukakusa J, Jang B, Ribeiro M, Kudla I, Tarlo SM, Factors influencing respirator use at work in respiratory patients, Occup Med, 2011;61:576-582,

Keywords: prevention, RPE, respirator, Canada

Known Authors

Susan Tarlo, Toronto Susan Tarlo

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Abstract

Background
When engineering controls such as ventilation are not sufficient to prevent hazardous exposures in workplaces, respiratory protective devices (RPDs) may be provided to decrease workers’ exposures. Often, workers do not use RPDs consistently when required.

Aims
Our goal was to determine important factors associated with RPD usage in workers with respiratory disease exposed to airborne hazards at work.

Methods
One hundred and twenty-nine respiratory clinic patients in jobs with self-identified hazardous airborne substances completed a questionnaire and their clinic files were reviewed. Statistical analysis using chi-squared test and binary logistical regression was done to identify associations with RPD usage.

Results
Forty-one per cent reported always wearing RPDs whenever a hazard was present; 33% never wore RPD. Compliance was highest among healthcare workers (72%) and lowest among workers in food and service industries (13 and 22%, respectively), P < 0.01. The compliance of co-workers, conveniently located RPDs, safety training discussing the use of RPDs, fit testing available at the workplace and age were positively associated with compliance (P < 0.05). Experiencing symptoms of shortness of breath and nasal stuffiness were negatively associated with compliance (P < 0.05).

Conclusions
Addressing company factors and workers’ symptoms apparently influencing compliance may optimize RPD usage.

Plain text: Background When engineering controls such as ventilation are not sufficient to prevent hazardous exposures in workplaces, respiratory protective devices (RPDs) may be provided to decrease workers' exposures. Often, workers do not use RPDs consistently when required. Aims Our goal was to determine important factors associated with RPD usage in workers with respiratory disease exposed to airborne hazards at work. Methods One hundred and twenty-nine respiratory clinic patients in jobs with self-identified hazardous airborne substances completed a questionnaire and their clinic files were reviewed. Statistical analysis using chi-squared test and binary logistical regression was done to identify associations with RPD usage. Results Forty-one per cent reported always wearing RPDs whenever a hazard was present; 33% never wore RPD. Compliance was highest among healthcare workers (72%) and lowest among workers in food and service industries (13 and 22%, respectively), P < 0.01. The compliance of co-workers, conveniently located RPDs, safety training discussing the use of RPDs, fit testing available at the workplace and age were positively associated with compliance (P < 0.05). Experiencing symptoms of shortness of breath and nasal stuffiness were negatively associated with compliance (P < 0.05). Conclusions Addressing company factors and workers' symptoms apparently influencing compliance may optimize RPD usage.

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Associated Questions

Registered users of this website have associated this reference with the following questions. This association is not a part of the BOHRF occupational asthma guidelines.

Is the incidence of occupational asthma reduced by respiratory protective equipment?
burgeps Does really answer thgis question, but shows that those with respiratory symptoms were less likely to use RPE

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Comments

Workers with shortness of breath less likely to use RPE (35% vs 59%)
12/21/2011

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