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HHE Report No. HETA-93-1041-2439, United States Postal Service, New Jersey International and Bulk Mail Center, Jersey City, New Jersey.

Authors
Burton-NC; Hoekstra-EJ
Source
NIOSH 1994 Jul:15 pages
NIOSHTIC No.
00222792
Abstract
In response to a request from representatives of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, Local 300, and the New York Metro Area Postal Union, an investigation was conducted of worker exposure to medical specimens and waste sent through the mail at the United States Postal Service New Jersey International and Bulk Mail Center (SIC- 4311), Jersey City, New Jersey. A walk through survey of the facility was conducted and the written policies and programs for bloodborne pathogens and emergency response procedures were evaluated. The written procedures currently in place were in accord with the current OSHA regulations. A torn package containing a blood sample and needle was noted during the walk through study in the First Class Mail area. During the same walk through study several packages labeled as biohazards were pulled from the conveyor stream of Bulk Mail. Two were damaged, but the contents remained intact. Four exposure incidents related to medical specimens and waste were cited between 1990 and 1993. Three of the cases involved employees whose fingers were pricked by potentially contaminated hypodermic needles while handling packages. The fourth was an incident of skin contact with fluid dripping from a damaged biological waste container. The authors conclude that packages containing biohazards are often shipped incorrectly and enter the mechanized Bulk Mail stream, where they can be damaged. The authors recommend that measures be taken to further reduce the risk of employee exposure.
Keywords
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-93-1041-2439; Region-2; Hazard-Confirmed; Accident-prevention; Safety-practices; Postal-employees; Manual-materials-handling; Needlestick-injuries; Infection-control;
Publication Date
19940701
Document Type
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance;
Fiscal Year
1994
NTIS Accession No.
PB95-147476
NTIS Price
A03
Identifying No.
HETA-93-1041-2439
NIOSH Division
DSHEFS;
SIC Code
4311;
Source Name
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HETA-93-1041-2439, 15 pages, 9 references
State
ME; NJ; NY; OH;
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