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Articles Tagged with construction illness

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covid-19A recent study of 730,000 Covid tests found that workers in the construction industry had the highest positive rate of all workers in any industry including healthcare workers. The study was conducted in Los Angeles between August and October by the testing firm Curative. Each person that was tested was required to fill a questionnaires that include their type of occupation. 5.7% of asymptomatic construction workers and 10.1 % of construction workers who had symptoms tested positive. The positivity rate among asymptomatic construction workers was the highest and well ahead of any other type of occupation.  “Sick construction workers  may still be coming to work if they have symptoms because some have no paid sick leave according to Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, a professor at UCLA’s School of Public Health who co-authored the study.

While the study didn’t find any case of asymptomatic correctional workers, among those who got tested because they had symptoms, 12 % were positive. That was the highest rate of positivity among symptomatic workers among all industries.

Workers in food services came 3rd with a positivity rate of 3.8% for those tested who were asymptomatic and 7.8% for those who had symptoms.

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respiratory test set upThe dust generated on construction sites can have adverse health effects on construction workers. Different activities on construction sites can generate different types of nanoparticles and ultrafine particles that can lead to serious respiratory diseases such as silicosis and lung cancer. To prevent these diseases the NIOSH recommend that workers use N95 respirators. However according to a recent pilot study conducted by the Center for Construction and Research Training (CPWR), these respirators might not protect construction workers properly depending on the task that they execute.

The CPWR used two manikins fitted with two types of  NIOSH approved N95 masks, the pleated N95 mask and the foldable N95 and assessed their respiratory protection against ultrafine particles and nanoparticles in various construction environments.

The researchers first found out that it was very difficult to get the N95 masks themselves as they were out of stock or back ordered for several weeks and substitutes had to be used for the studies.