Attitude Towards Personal Protective Equipment in the French Nuclear Fuel Industry

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This descriptive cross-sectional study examines the compliance of workers from the European Gaseous Diffusion Uranium Enrichment Consortium (EURODIF) with personal protection equipment (PPE) in view of the various hazards in the nuclear fuel industry. The PPE inventory was drawn up by an industrial hygienist in charge of the PPE at EURODIF. Two hundred and twenty seven (10 %) randomly selected, active and retired, EURODIF workers filled in a questionnaire on their attitudes towards PPE. Exposure data from the EURODIF job exposure matrix were used to examine whether PPE usage varies according to exposure level. The study suggests a PPE usage profile that varies depending on the hazards present and PPE available. Anti-uranium PPE and gloves were among the best rated, while anti-spray goggles were the least used. We found that, for most hazards known to cause cancer or irreversible health damage, PPE usage varied according to exposure (homogeneity test, p<0.05; trend test, p<0.05). The continuous use of PPE among workers should be encouraged through improvements to the PPE management system. A precise model of individual exposure can only be designed if the use and efficiency of PPE are taken into consideration.

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Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology

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