Here, as well as the selected papers immediately beneath this section, BOHS has selected a few articles from the journal with current relevance - starting with an editorial by members of their editorial board, Sean Semple and John Cherrie, outlining the vital role of occupational hygiene in the effort. BOHS has also collected articles generally grouped into aspects of occupational hygiene for protection from viruses: Respiratory Protection, Dermal Protection, and Ventilation Control. Of course there are many other aspects of exposure and control for occupations with risk of infectious disease, but these areas are central to occupational hygiene.
Occupational hygienists have particular skills in understanding exposure to hazards in the workplace and a long history of introducing simple and effective measures that reduce risk to workers' health. These skills may be able to contribute to protecting the global workforce from Covid-19.
Read the editorial here
Dr Marie Coggins, NUIG, writes on managing respirators and gloves and provides both useful and practical information.
Read the full article "Managing respirators and gloves in the fight against COVID-19" By Dr. Marie Coggins NUIG here
This paper titled 'Are Powered Air Purifying Respirators a Solution for Protecting Healthcare Workers from Emerging Aerosol-Transmissible Diseases' by Lisa M Brosseau is particularly interesting and discusses the differing recommendations on PPE for healthcare workers from WHO and CDC including filtering face piece respirators (FFRs). It discusses the argument for Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPRs) stating 'it would be more appropriate to recommend the use of a respirator with a higher level of protection—such as a PAPR—for exposures to patients with serious symptoms or undergoing aerosol-generating procedures'. It examines the advantages of PAPRs in healthcare settings stating they are 'cooler and more comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Loose fitting PAPRs (e.g. with hoods) do not require fit testing, a popular feature for men not wanting to shave. PAPRs are a good choice for exposures to high concentrations of infectious aerosols, particularly when risks are unknown or uncertain'. This paper also mentions the issues that need to be addressed before PAPRs are brought into use, e.g., designs that protect patients as well as wearers; more options for visibility and communication with patients; methods for assessing correct donning and doffing; additional procedures and manpower for managing batteries, maintaining and replacing multiple parts, and proper storage, cleaning, and training.
Read the full article here.
This paper titled 'COVID-19 Outbreak in Italy: Protecting Worker Health and the Response of the Italian Industrial Hygienists Association' and highlights the need for the development and circulation of operational guidance to all the stakeholders, e.g., Health, Safety and Environmental managers and other prevention managers in workplaces. It emphasises the considerable expertise in the occupational hygiene and exposure science communities that can help employers and workers to contain and delay the spread of COVID-19. It details the documents published by the Italian Association of Industrial Hygienists (AIDII— Associazione Italiana degli Igienisti Industriali) containing operational guidelines to provide correct and constantly updated information for: (i) workers employed in essential activities (with low and medium risk of contagion), (ii) health workers and other workers at high or very high risk of contagion, and (iii) for the correct use and handling of personal protective equipment for workers and for the population in general.
Read the full article here.