Measuring Respirator Use in the Workplace
William D. Kalsbeek, Thomas J. Plewes, and Ericka McGowan, Editors
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by Contract No. DHHS 200-2005-10881, Task Order 2, between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
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Suggested citation: National Research Council. 2007. Measuring Respirator Use in the Workplace. William D. Kalsbeek, Thomas J. Plewes, and Ericka McGowan; Editors. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
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COMMITTEE ON THE REVIEW OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH/BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS RESPIRATOR USE SURVEY
WILLIAM D. KALSBEEK,
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
JANICE COMER BRADLEY,
International Safety Equipment Association
Mine Safety Appliances Company
ARTHUR T. JOHNSON,
University of Maryland
Oregon State University
JAMES W. PLATNER,
Center to Protect Workers’ Rights
Keller and Heckman, LLP
BRUCE J. TATARCHUK,
Research Triangle Institute
National Research Council Staff
THOMAS J. PLEWES, Study Director
ERICKA M. MCGOWAN, Associate Program Officer
LANCE HUNTER, Project Assistant
BOARD ON CHEMICAL SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY
ELSA REICHMANIS (NAE),
F. FLEMING CRIM (NAS),
University of Wisconsin
PAUL T. ANASTAS,
Green Chemistry Institute
GARY S. CALABRESE,
Rohm & Haas Company
JEAN DE GRAEVE,
Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium
PABLO G. DEBENEDETTI,
MILES P. DRAKE,
GEORGE W. FLYNN,
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
PAULA T. HAMMOND,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sandia National Laboratory
JAY V. IHLENFELD,
3M Research & Development
JAMES L. KINSEY,
MARTHA A. KREBS,
California Energy Commission
CHARLES T. KRESGE,
Dow Chemical Company
SCOTT J. MILLER,
GERALD V. POJE,
Independent Consultant, Vienna, VA
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
MATTHEW V. TIRRELL,
University of California, Santa Barbara
National Research Council Staff
TINA M. MASCIANGIOLI, Program Officer
ERICKA M. MCGOWAN, Associate Program Officer
SYBIL A. PAIGE, Administrative Associate
JESSICA PULLEN, Research Assistant
DAVID C. RASMUSSEN, Senior Project Assistant
FEDERICO SAN MARTINI, Associate Program Officer
DOROTHY ZOLANDZ, Director
COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL STATISTICS 2005-2006
WILLIAM F. EDDY,
Carnegie Mellon University
University of Maryland
AT&T Research Laboratories, Florham Park, NJ
ROBERT M. GROVES,
University of Michigan
University of Maryland
PAUL W. HOLLAND,
Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ
JOEL L. HOROWITZ,
University of Michigan
Google, Inc., New York
SAMUEL H. PRESTON,
University of Pennsylvania
NORA CATE SCHAEFFER,
University of Wisconsin, Madison
CONSTANCE F. CITRO, Director
The mission of the National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is to prevent work-related illness and injury by ensuring the development, certification, deployment, and use of personal protective equipment and fully integrated, intelligent ensembles. This is accomplished through the advancement and application of personal protective technology standards. Like everything else about this new agency of government (founded in 2001), this is an evolving mission statement for a changing and evolving agency. While NPPTL inherited a portfolio of research into personal protective equipment technology and an extensive real-world standards-setting and certification program that impacts directly on the use of respirators in the workplace, NPPTL has been striving to seek new ground in a performance-driven environment in which there are new areas of emphasis, technologies, and responsibilities.
As part of a multifaceted look at the inherited and evolving portfolio of the NPPTL,1 the laboratory asked the National Academies to undertake a special look at the informational underpinnings of the respirator use program in mid-2005 and to report back expeditiously with recommendations. The primary focus of the committee inquiry was to be on a landmark survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) under the sponsorship of NIOSH in 2001—the Survey of Respirator Use and Practices (SRUP). The review would critique the survey and render judgment on the fitness and relevance of the survey methodology to provide valid information that would guide respirator protection policy into the future.
Various skills were needed to approach this task in a comprehensive manner. The National Academies formed this committee to represent broadly the range of interests involved, with members drawn from industry, employee organizations, and academe according to the necessary expertise. The committee members were selected on the basis of their expertise in occupational health and safety, industrial hygiene, respirator and filter technology, survey design and methodology, and statistical data analysis. In this regard, the National Academies was fortunate to obtain the enthusiastic service of a committee of experts who were broadly representative of the many disciplines and interests that would have to pull together to ensure a successful program of respiratory protection in U.S. workplaces.
In the process of developing this report, the committee conducted two meetings to which officials of the NPPTL and BLS were invited to discuss the SRUP and other matters of concern to the agencies, and a third, closed meeting at which the committee’s findings and recommendations were discussed. In addition to the formal meetings, selected committee members participated in conference calls with agency representatives to elicit more technical information.
The staff of the National Academies that supported this review was drawn from two divisions within the Academies— the Division on Earth and Life Studies, Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology (BCST), and the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT). Dorothy Zolandz, the board director of BCST ably served as overall project director, and Constance Citro provided support and direction on the statistical aspects of the investigation from her position as director of CNSTAT. Tom Plewes of CNSTAT staff served as study director, while Ericka McGowan of BCST served as
research associate. Lance Hunter of CNSTAT rounded out this interdisciplinary staff as project assistant, in charge of administrative support to the committee.
Throughout the project, the staff of the sponsoring agency, NPPTL, provided sustained interest and support for the project. Senior leadership of the laboratories, including Les Boord, director of NPPTL, was supportive of the work of the committee and participated in its first and second meetings to provide both guidance and technical expertise. Throughout its work, the committee was directly assisted by NPPTL Associate Director for Science Dr. MaryAnn D’Alessandro, who in turn was ably supported by several members of the senior staff of the laboratories: Roland BerryAnn, George Bockosh, Bill Haskell, and John Kovac.
Staff of the NIOSH Division of Respiratory Disease Studies (DRDS) were also very helpful in assembling background materials, providing a unique perspective with their expertise in workplace surveillance, and otherwise supporting the work of the committee. The members of this team, Brent Doney and Mark Greskevitch, supported by Dennis Groce, were instrumental in initiating the mid-1990 investigations that determined that NIOSH would sponsor the BLS survey and played critical functions in providing context to the SRUP. Under the guidance of NPPTL, this team and others from DRDS have carried the bulk of the burden of preparing and disseminating analysis of the survey and its findings, continuing the program of exploiting survey results to this day with several pioneering statistical analytical products still in the pipeline.
Likewise, the staff of the Office of Safety, Health, and Working Conditions of the BLS, which had responsibility for the design and conduct of the SRUP, was consistently supportive of the committee. The assistant commissioner of BLS for this office, William J. Wiatrowski, and his associate, William McCarthy, developed and presented an objective discussion of the survey at the first meeting of the committee and stood ready to respond to the many questions posed by the committee and staff prior to and after that presentation. Kelly Frampton of BLS was very helpful in retrieving and forwarding documents to the committee as well.
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that assist the institution in making its report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.
The committee wishes to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Dr. Howard Cohen, University of New Haven, Connecticut
Dr. Lewis Goldfrank, New York University School of Medicine
Dr. James S. Johnson, Los Alamos National Laboratory (retired), Pleasanton, California
Dr. Timothy Johnson, University of Illinois, Chicago
Dr. Frank Potter, Mathematica Policy Research, Princeton, New Jersey
Dr. Stanley Suboleski, Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, Washington, D.C.
Mr. Michael Wright, United Steelworkers of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Dr. Alan Zaslavsky, Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Harley Moon, Iowa State University. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of the report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
William D. Kalsbeek, Chair
Committee on the Review of the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health/ Bureau of Labor Statistics
Respirator Use Survey