New York State Medical Treatment Guidelines for Prevention and Exposure Control for asthma in workers compensation patients

The guidelines established by the New York State Workers Compensation Board are designed to aid healthcare professionals in implementing effective prevention and exposure control measures for asthma.

Crafted for medical practitioners, these Workers Compensation Board guidelines offer assistance in determining the suitable preventive measures and exposure control strategies for individuals with asthma.

It’s crucial to note that these guidelines do not replace clinical judgment or professional experience. The final decision on prevention and exposure control for asthma should be a collaborative one, involving the patient and their healthcare provider in consultation.

Prevention and Exposure Management

1. Holistic Exposure Control:

  • Managing workplace exposure involves employing elimination, substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE).

2. Optimal Strategies – Elimination and Substitution:

  • The most effective strategies for exposure elimination are either completely removing the agent or substituting it entirely.

3. Engineering Controls for Employee Uninvolvement:

  • Engineering controls focus on removing potential exposure without requiring employee involvement.

4. Administrative Controls – Minimizing Exposure:

  • Administrative controls, like work practices, encompass processes designed to minimize exposure.

5. Role of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):

  • PPE relies on employee usage to reduce exposure.

6. Educational Components in Prevention:

  • Prevention strategies should incorporate educational elements covering the risk of sensitization disorders, the significance of exposure control measures, signs of work-related asthma, and appropriate steps to take if asthma symptoms manifest due to work exposures.

7. Effectiveness of PPE Compared to Source Elimination:

  • PPE usage, especially respirators, is considered less effective than eliminating or reducing exposures at the source or in the environment.

8. Ongoing Commitment for Respiratory Protection:

  • Successful respiratory personal protection necessitates continual commitment from employers and employees. This includes equipment selection, cleaning, maintenance, storage, training, fit testing, and medical monitoring of users.

9. Respirators as Interim Measures:

  • Respirators are most beneficial as interim measures while implementing efforts to control exposures at the source or in the environment. They are also employed when controls at these other levels are impractical.

10. Synergistic Use of Respirators:

  • Respirators are frequently used in conjunction with other control activities at the source and/or environmental level.



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