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Kalsbeek, William D.; Plewes, Thomas J.; & McGowan, Ericka (2007). Measuring Respirator Use in the Workplace. Washington: National Academies Press.


Respirators are used in a variety of workplaces including emergency response, mining operations, construction, manufacturing, and hospitals. In 2001, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Bureau of Labor Statistics commissioned a nationwide survey of respirator use in the workplace, the results of which were published in the 2003 report Respirator Usage in Private Sector Firms. The purpose of the survey was to evaluate respirator use and practices, including training practices and the value of respirator manufacturer's instruction, in order to help guide NIOSH respirator certification and research. This National Research Council (NRC) report evaluates the survey in terms of several measures such as the adequacy and appropriateness of the survey instrument, the survey methodology, data analysis, and the conclusions drawn from the data. The NRC report finds that the survey was an important first step in collecting respiratory protection data from a probability sample but that several improvements could be made in survey design and analysis. Based on the review of the survey, the NRC report concludes that data on respirator use would be best provided by employers and employees in the context of the work setting.

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Kalsbeek, William D.
Plewes, Thomas J.
McGowan, Ericka