Use of Personal Protective Equipment (focus on dust)

As part of a NIOSH-sponsored supplement on dust, questions on the use of personal equipment to protect against dust and chemicals were administered in 2002-2003. Agricultural workers were shown pictures of personal protective equipment used for protection against dust including bandana, disposable mask, respirator, and cloth covers for the face and head, and were asked which devices were used in the last month while doing farm work. The largest share of agricultural workers noted that they had used cloth covers for the face and head (18%). Among those who reported having used this type of protective equipment, the most frequently-cited reasons (multiple responses were allowed) were for protection against the sun (reported by 77%) and protection against dust (reported by 37%). Only a small share of agricultural workers reported that there were some days in the previous month when they should have worn protective gear but did not (6%).

Protective gear used while doing farm work in the last month

To view current and trend data from the NAWS select from the links below:

Attention A T users. Data is presented in three formats, a bar chart, a textual data table, and a line chart. The data is best reviewed though the data table when using A T.

Bar Chart — Protective gear used while doing farm work in the last month

Data Table — Protective gear used while doing farm work in the last month

Category 02-03
# %
Face and head cloth covers1,02318%
Some days16014%
Total days used
1-3 days2619%
4-7 days6240%
8 days or more6442%
Reasons used
Other reason262%
Some days10926%
Total days used
1-3 days2024%
4-7 days4437%
8 days or more4040%
Reasons used
Other reason287%
Disposable mask87212%
Some days73486%
Total days used
1-3 days27331%
4-7 days24434%
8 days or more22335%
Reasons used
Other reason243%
Some days29890%
Total days used
1-3 days12433%
4-7 days9030%
8 days or more8637%
Reasons used
Other reason72%a

a Estimates with relative standard errors (RSEs) greater than 30 percent but no more than 50 percent are published but should be used with caution.

b Estimates based on fewer than four responses or with RSEs greater than 50 percent are considered statistically unreliable and are suppressed.