Particulate matter in the workplace: effects of a mental models-based folder combined with a practical assignment

Posted on 14.05.2022 - 05:18
Abstract Background With increasing knowledge on the adverse health effects of certain constituents of PM (particulate matter), such as silica, metals, insoluble ions, and black carbon, PM has been under the attention of work safety experts. Previously, we investigated the perceptions of blue-collar workers in highly exposed areas of work. Subsequently, we developed an instruction folder highlighting the most important aspects of PM risk and mitigation, and tested this folder in a digital experiment. The digital experiment yielded positive results with regards to acquired knowledge about PM, but did not on risk perception or safety behavior. Methods In this study, we investigate the effects of the folder when combined with a practical assignment involving a PM exposimeter, showing the amount of particulate matter in microgram per cubic meter in real time on its display for various activities. We tested this at six workplaces of four companies in the roadwork and construction branch. Results The results indicate that the folder itself yields an increased knowledge base in employees about PM, but the effects of the practical assignment are more contentious. Nevertheless, there is an indication that using the assignment may lead to a higher threat appraisal among employees for high exposure activities. Conclusion We recommend implementing our folder in companies with high PM exposure and focusing further research on appropriate methods of implementation.

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Stege, T. A. M.; Bolte, J. F. B.; Claassen, L.; Timmermans, D. R. M. (2022): Particulate matter in the workplace: effects of a mental models-based folder combined with a practical assignment. figshare. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5995844.v1
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