Danger in the air: construction workers' perceptions of silica dust through the lens of the health belief model
LE3 .A278 2023
Bachelor of Business Administration
Although extensive research has been conducted in order to understand silica dust as an occupational hazard, including effective control measures for mitigating its effects, it remains unclear how workers perceive this occupational hazard, along with corresponding safety policy. This research examines the employment experiences of 12 workers actively employed in the Prince Edward Island commercial construction industry. Qualitative research, through the means of semi-structured interviews, was used in order to understand how workers perceive the dangers of silica dust, and the effectiveness of control measures, including respiratory protective equipment. A thematic analysis was used in order to identify important themes. Additionally, participant responses were analyzed through the theoretical constructs of the Health Belief Model, which aims to determine the likelihood of an individual engaging in a predetermined health behaviour. It was found that workers actively engage in numerous health behaviours, such as respirator usage, and control measures such as local exhaust ventilation and wet dust suppression. However, it was additionally found that workers often misunderstand the effectiveness of control measures, which leads to hazard exposure, unbeknownst to the worker.
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