Completed Research

Tools and Programs for Improving Occupational Health Conditions in Construction (TAPs) (Completed – 2004-2009)

Pam Susi, MSPH 

Marlton, NJ
Ph: 301-495-8546
[email protected]

Original Project Abstract:
The overall aim of this component of the Tools and Programs for Improving Occupational Health Conditions in Constructions (TAPs) project is to reduce silica exposure to bricklayers who cut block or brick with masonry saws and tuck pointers who grind mortar joints with angle grinders, through an intervention that leads to the systematic adoption of silica control programs by masonry contractors. The intervention will be developed and implemented jointly with key stakeholders, including labor and management as represented by the Labor/Management Craft Committee of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (IUBAC), Locals 1 in Philadelphia and 5 in New Jersey, and by the International Masonry Institute (IMI), which is a labor/management training organization if the IUBAC and the contractors who employ its members. IMI offers design and technical assistance to the industry.

The specific aims of the project are to:

  • Evaluate and describe commercially available engineering controls for reducing silica exposure among workers who work with masonry saws to cut brick and block and with angle grinders to remove mortar.
  • Assess the current utilization of specific controls systems for these tools among masonry contractors.
  • Evaluate the factors that enhance or impede contractor use of specific controls.
  • Develop and implement strategies for enhancing contractor adoption of the control systems identified as effective and viable.
  • Assess the impact of these strategies on actual adoption of controls by contractors.
  • Present the results in a form that can be adopted by other researchers and stakeholders as a guide for diffusing engineering controls for health hazards into the construction industry.