HHE Determination, Report No. HHE-78-134-630, Ozark Airlines, Peoria, Illinois.
Environmental, medical, and ergonomic evaluations were conducted at the Ozark Airlines central reservations office (SIC-4722) in Peoria, Illinois on September 27 and 28, 1978 and January 24 to 26, 1979 to identify the cause of an episode of mass illness of synergistic origin from August 14 to 18, 1978. An evaluation request came from an authorized representative of Lodge 2307 of the International Association of Machinists at the Greater Peoria Airport, which represented the approximately 325 affected employees of Ozark. The environmental and medical assessments revealed that concentrations of carbon-monoxide (630080), carbon-dioxide (124389), hydrocarbons and pyrethrin (121299), were below OSHA standards of 50 parts per million, 9,000 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/cu m), 1,800 to 2,050mg/cu m, and 5mg/cu m, respectively. No health problems from mites were identified. The ergonomic assessment identified the following as the most probable precipitating factors during the episode: elevated temperature (80 to 85 degrees-F) and relative humidity (67 to 70 percent, 2 days after the episode), ventilation system malfunction, noise levels ranging from 65 to 85 decibels relative to the A-weighted scale (dBA), crowding and cluttered working conditions, and illumination values that were well below the 75 to 100 footcandles recommended for this type of work. The authors recommend that the ventilation system and illumination be improved, background noise be reduced, work areas be rearranged, and insect controls and cleaning programs be improved.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HHE-78-134-630, 40 pages, 27 references