A husband and father of two children with a history of asthma goes to work every day at a body shop. He's a painter, who's supposed to wear a positive-pressure personal fresh-air system to protect his lungs from overspray. Isocynates can kill, he's been told, but he still only wears a half-face respirator. The fresh-air mask is hot and uncomfortable, and it makes it difficult to communicate with coworkers. Now, 15 years after he started working at the shop, this painter doesn't have to worry about wearing a respirator anymore; he died several months ago of an asthmatic attack while waiting for a freshly painted car to dry.
Many workers won't worry about wearing a respirator until something bad happens, such as a death or illness of a coworker who didn't wear one. That's an eye-opening scenario, as is this real-life anecdote from a Philadelphia-area consultant.