Concerns of the dry‐cleaning industry: A qualitative investigation of labor and management

American Journal of Industrial Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.59). 02/1999; 35(2):112 - 123. DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0274(199902)35:2<112::AID-AJIM2>3.0.CO;2-U

ABSTRACT Background
Occupational scientists agree there are hazards associated with dry-cleaning, but do dry-cleaning owners and workers concur? Knowledge of owners' and workers' perceptions can help guide intervention efforts to reduce worker exposure. To better understand these issues, a qualitative study was conducted using focus group methodology and constant comparative analysis.Methods
Two owner and four worker focus groups were held.ResultsFindings suggest that overall, health and safety issues were not of great concern. Owners were primarily concerned with the economic impact of regulations. Workers did express some anxiety about solvent exposure and burns, but most felt that these hazards were “just part of the job.” Also, other than the installation of air-conditioning in the shops and the provision of health benefits, workers could not think of ways health and safety on the job could be improved.Conclusions
These findings will be used to develop comprehensive safety and health interventions (e.g., engineering plus education and training) in dry-cleaning shops. Am. J. Ind. Med. 35:112–123, 1999. Published 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.