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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2003-0146-2976, Genesis Steel Services, Inc., Baltimore, Maryland.

Authors
Albers-J; Hudock-S; Kong-Y-K
Source
NIOSH 2005 Jun; :1-30
NIOSHTIC No.
20027821
Abstract
During February 2003, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a management request for a Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) from the Genesis Steel Services, Inc. (GSSI). GSSI requested that NIOSH: 1. Evaluate the risk that reinforcing ironworkers have for developing back and hand disorders as a result of hand-tying reinforcement steel on concrete bridge decks and other large concrete slab jobs; and, 2. Investigate whether the use of reinforcing steel battery powered tying tools can be an effective intervention for the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) of the upper limbs and back. In response to the request, NIOSH investigators evaluated GSSI employees' biomechanical loading during rebar tying on a freeway-bridge construction site. NIOSH investigators measured employees' wrist and forearm movement with goniometers while crew members tied reinforcing steel using three different tying methods. The employees were videotaped and the tape was analyzed to record trunk postures. NIOSH investigators analyzed the data collected and compared the results with criteria used to describe and contrast the levels of hand-wrist and low-back biomechanical loading for GSSI employees for each rebar tying technique used. Manually tying rebar at ground level using a pliers and wire involved sustained deep trunk bending and rapid, repetitive, and forceful hand-wrist and forearm movements that would require limits on the amount of time workers can safely do the work. Using a battery powered rebar tying tool significantly reduced the use of rapid and repetitive hand-wrist and forearm movements and freed one hand to support the trunk during tying. Adding an extension handle to the battery powered rebar tying tool allowed workers to tie rebar standing erect.
Keywords
Region-3; Hazard-Confirmed; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Ergonomics; Cumulative-trauma-disorders; Cumulative-trauma; Repetitive-work; Road-construction; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Hand-tools; Power-tools; Back-injuries; Hand-injuries; Construction-Search
Publication Date
20050601
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Funding Type
Construction
Fiscal Year
2005
NTIS Accession No.
PB2005-109401
NTIS Price
A04
Identifying No.
HETA-2003-0146-2976
NIOSH Division
DART
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Low Back Disorders
SIC Code
1622; NAICS-23412
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
State
MD; OH
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