Interactive toolbox talk influences knowledge and use of N95 respirator mask among commercial construction workers: Evidence from the Building Occupational Lessons in Toxic crystalline Silica (BOLTS) Pilot Study
Methods:BOLTS survey data was collected from five commercial construction sites across three time points (n=248 workers) in fall 2014. Three control sites were randomized to a standard toolbox talk and two experimental sites to an interactive toolbox talk that included the standard talk plus worksite air sampling feedback to workers. Baseline and post-toolbox talk surveys were administered during the construction site breaks to assess baseline worker knowledge and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). A follow-up telephone-based survey was administered 1-week post toolbox talk to assess N95 mask use.
Results/Outcomes: Worker baseline knowledge of silica exposure sources, prevention practices, and health outcomes (21 items total) increased immediately after the toolbox talk for both groups (17 vs. 14-items correct, between control and experimental groups respectively) and slightly decreased to 14 vs. 10-items at the 1-week follow up. Workers exposed to jobsite dust in the experimental group (65%) reported increased use of N95 respirator masks compared to workers in the control (33%, p<0.01).
Conclusions: Worksite policies requiring provision of interactive educational toolbox talks may increase knowledge of silica and future PPE use among construction workers in a dusty environment.
Learning Areas:Chronic disease management and prevention
Environmental health sciences
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Compare the effects of an interactive toolbox talk on construction worker knowledge of silica health effects in relation to an available standard toolbox talk. Describe the components of an interactive toolbox talk to reduce silica and dust among commercial construction workers. Explain the association between N95 respirator mask use between workers participating in the standard versus experimental toolbox talk.
Keyword(s): Chemical Exposures & Prevention, Occupational Health and Safety