It is hypothesised that there is a causal association between workers' perceptions of the risks from handling hazardous materials, their behaviour while working and their consequent exposure. This has been investigated in a small group of workers carrying out remedial work on amosite insulating boards and similar products. Risk perception was first assessed using a questionnaire and then the workers' behaviour was recorded alongside task-based measurements of fibre exposure. There was a clear association of higher cumulative exposures when workers used power tools compared to manual methods (about seven times higher). Careful bagging was shown to reduce exposures by a smaller margin, (approximately half). Workers whose perception of the risks was poorer were found to be more likely to use power tools to remove the asbestos containing material. However, fibre exposure was not found to be directly associated with risk perception. Further work is necessary to clarify the validity of the original hypothesis. (C) 1998 British Occupational Hygiene Society. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health Professions(all)