Among the construction industry are many harmful substances that affect the health of workers exposed to harmful agents. A systematic review was constructed from several case studies that examined and evaluated the respiratory health of construction workers, as well as the factors that affect the respiratory health of workers. It was concluded that construction workers presented with symptoms such as, productive cough, asthma, and lung infections that had worsened within 3 years of being in the construction industry. Additionally, construction divisions that were exposed to harmful substances or safety hazards had a higher percentage of cigarette smokers; concluding that the safety hazards indirectly affect the workers as well due to smoking habits. The risk of lung cancer also greatly increased for individuals exposed to specific chemical agents.
Accompanying the systematic review, research was conducted to identify the common company practices in comparison to the OSHA regulations. In conclusion, companies were found to not have adequate supply of respiratory protection on site and did not conduct respirator usage training for new hire employees. As a whole, this research has shown that lack of access and lack of enforcement, in addition to the general exposures have led to respiratory health issues in workers. Companies should be more diligent in incorporating respiratory protection training and usage into their protection plan to help decrease the negative effects of exposures on respiratory health.
Semester/Year of Award
Dr. Bryan Dyer
Open Access Thesis
Applied Engineering and Technology
IRB Approval Number (if applicable)
Stiens, Kendall, "Improving Safety Regulations to Decrease Respiratory Health Issues in Construction Workers" (2020). Honors Theses. 762.