Each month we will update this page to highlight newly released final reports and information on new and emerging hazards we are evaluating. Check back often to see what we are up to!
Evaluation of Vibration Exposure for Interment Technicians
The HHE Program evaluated concerns about injuries to an interment crew at a cemetery. Investigators found that higher speeds on the dumper produced more whole body vibration. Interment employees were exposed to whole body vibration due to the configuration of the dumper and the condition of the roadways and soil shed area. Investigators concluded that operating the dumper caused more whole body vibration than operating the backhoe. HHE Program investigators recommended the employer
- Restrict driving speeds of the dumper and backhoe
- Improve and maintain roadways and grading unpaved access roadways
- Rotate employees through tasks on the dumper and backhoe more frequently
To read the full report go to http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2011-0166-3175.pdf.
Evaluation of Pharmaceutical Dust Exposures at an Outpatient Pharmacy
HHE Program investigators evaluated concerns about employees’ exposures to pharmaceutical dust at an outpatient pharmacy. Lactose (a common inactive filler) and active pharmaceutical ingredients were found in air samples; lactose was also found on surfaces throughout the pharmacy. The use of compressed air to clean automatic dispensing machine canisters released dust into the air, taking more than an hour before the small particles were no longer in the air. HHE Program investigators recommended that the employer
- Install a partially-enclosed local exhaust hood for cleaning and filling canisters
- Use a vacuum with a long narrow nozzle instead of compressed air to clean canisters
- Clean all work surfaces with alcohol wipes before breaks and at the end of each workday
To read the full report go to http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2010-0078-3177.pdf.
Sea Lamprey Pesticide Contamination at a Biological Station
The HHE Program evaluated surface contamination from spills of sea lamprey pesticides that occurred in the 1960s and 1970s at a biological station. Pesticide was found on the carpet and wipe samples from areas that were visibly stained. Room air flowed from the offices into the workshop which helped keep potentially contaminated air from entering the office spaces. Investigators recommended that employees refrain from entering offices with clothes, shoes, or materials that may have pesticides on them. It was recommended that the employer
- Remove stained carpet and clean and seal the concrete floor before installing flooring
- Clean, seal, and repaint walls with visible stains
- Notify all employees about plans to renovate the building
To read the full report go to http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2012-0164-3174.pdf.
Evaluation of Zoonotic Disease and Exposures in Persons Working with Marine Mammals
HHE Program investigators evaluated potential exposure of employees and volunteers to zoonotic diseases at a marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation center. Among the 213 participants who underwent a blood test, little evidence was found of past infection with the organisms that cause leptospirosis, brucellosis, or Q fever. Air, surface, and bulk dust samples were collected for C. burnetti, the bacterium that causes Q fever; all but one of 130 samples was negative. Investigators found that when the harbor seal area ventilation system was turned on air flowed from the intensive care unit to other areas of the building. Investigators recommended
- House harbor seal pups suspected of having Q fever outside, isolated from other pups
- Remove carpet in the triage building and replacing it with a nonporous surface
- Provide training on hand washing, personal protective equipment, and risk of infection
To read the full report go to http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2011-0105-3173.pdf.
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