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NIOSH Program Portfolio

 

Manufacturing

NORA Manufacturing Sector Strategic Goals

927Z6QX - Sizing Safety Equipment for Hispanic Meat Processing Workers

Start Date: 10/1/2006
End Date: 9/30/2009

Principal Investigator (PI)
Name: Mathew Hause
Phone: 304-285-5982
E-mail: mgh0@cdc.gov
Organization: NIOSH
Sub-Unit: DSR
Funded By: NIOSH

Primary Goals Addressed
1.0 , 7.0

Secondary Goal Addressed
None


Attributed to Manufacturing
100%

Project Description

Short Summary

This study will use human factors applied engineering methods to determine the anthropometry of Hispanic meat and poultry production workers which can be used for the manufacturing of worker personal protective equipment. This research is a NORA targeted funds pilot project – the target area is Manufacturing. The project will develop sizing schemes for cut resistant safety equipment used as hand and arm protection to reduce cut and laceration hazards in the slaughtering and meat processing industry. NIOSH will work with trade groups and standards organizations to ensure that the results of this research are properly disseminated.



Description

The overall goal of this 3 year project is to formulate anthropometric guides for the design of improved cut resistant safety apparel, and the development of effective sizing systems that would accommodate the occupational population in the meat processing industries. The project will use both 2- and 3-dimensional anthropometric scanning technologies to determine sizing schemes for the development of glove, and forearm/upper-arm protection sleeve components that best enhance the ability of the half million meat workers to select, fit, and use cut resistant safety equipment safely. This project is designed to address a.) lack of fit and sizing criteria for cut resistant safety equipment used by a predominantly Hispanic workforce, and b.) lack of 3-dimensional anthropometric information for the design of cut resistant apparel to improve its efficacy and safety. The research goal will be accomplished through three phases. The first phase will identify critical parameters of body size used for the design of personal protective equipment (PPE). Body size measures with be taken from male and female Hispanic meat workers. The second phase will identify key performance criteria related to cut resistant PPE for translation into guidelines on appropriate selection, fit, and use, of cut resistant PPE. The third phase will transfer measurement data to PPE manufacturers for validation in developing new PPE patterns for production of cut resistant safety equipment for workers of short stature.



NIOSH is partnering with cut resistant safety equipment manufacturers, International Safety Equipment Association, Tyson Foods, Inc. and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, and Food Processing Plants to identify information needed to reduce the traumatic injury and illness risk among meat and poultry workers.



There are four tasks for FY2009:

1. Complete data collection;

2. Analyze and summarize data;

3. Disseminate results through peer-reviewed scientific journal or professional technical journal;

4. Complete selection and use guideline document.



Objectives

The overall goal of this project is to formulate anthropometric guides for the design of improved cut resistant safety apparel, and the development of effective sizing systems that would accommodate the occupational population in the meat processing industries which is now dominated by a growing ethnic worker population that consists of Hispanic Americans. The project will use both 2-D and 3-Dimensional anthropometric scanning technologies to determine important sizing information used in the development of gloves and forearm/upper-arm protective equipment that enhance the ability of the half million meat processing workers to select, fit, and use cut resistant equipment safely. The project aims are specifically designed to address a.) the lack of sizing information for cut resistant safety equipment used by a predominantly Hispanic workforce, and b.) the lack of 3-Dimensional anthropometric information for the design of cut resistant apparel to improve their efficacy and safety.



The objectives of the research project will be achieved in three phases: Phase I. Collection of Body Size Measurements - to determine the anthropometric characteristics of workers common in this manufacturing industry. Specific measurement parameters critical to the fit and performance of cut resistant gloves, arm protectors, and body aprons used by meat production workers will be collected through the use of both traditional measurement and surface scanning techniques. This information is necessary to develop an anthropometric database that details the unique hand-size and arm-size distributions of these workers, as well as average grip strength of the mostly Hispanic workforce. Phase II. This assessment will include a determination of hierarchy of considerations important for the selection, fit, and use of existing cut resistant safety equipment. These selection factors will form the basis of a written guideline that explains the most important criteria about cut resistant safety equipment evaluation, selection, fit, and use. Phase III. Transforming Findings into Equipment Practice – to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturers information necessary to size and fabricate ergonomically better fitting PPE, and also to provide existing consensus standards groups, like ANSI, ISEA, and the ISO, with information important in the revising of existing sizing specifications for PPE.



Evaluation: Successful program: (1) A written guideline is devised which provided useful information on the selection and use of cut resistant gloves and arm protection equipment utilized by meat processing workers in association with the International Safety Equipment Association or the American Meat Institute, or (2) sizing information is transferred and adopted by one of the PPE manufacturers. Minimally effective program: Successfully complete the development of both 2D and 3D body dimension datasets based on the anthropometry of meat processing workers.



Mission Relevance

This project is designed to address the lack of fit and sizing criteria for cut resistant safety equipment used by a predominantly Hispanic workforce. Meatpacking is one of the most dangerous industries in the United States. In 2003, an estimated 527,000 workers were employed in the animal slaughtering and processing industry. The percentage of Hispanic workers in this industry increases every year. The largest proportions of workers in this industry are young, male, and Hispanic (42%). These workers use cut resistant safety equipment in their daily jobs. In 2002, the meat and poultry industry had 14.9 injuries and illnesses per 100 workers; sausages and other prepared meats plants recorded a rate of 10.9 cases; and poultry plants recorded a rate of 9.7; each exceeding the average annual rate for all manufacturing of 7.2 cases/100 Full Time Equivalents. The most common injuries are cuts, but more serious injuries, such as amputation also occur. Cut and amputation injuries occur when sharp hand tools (knife, cleaver) and power tools (saws) are used. Also, repetitive slicing can lead to increased risk of cut injuries. The injury rate from cuts and punctures in this industry was 17.9 cases per 10,000 Full Time Equivalents in 2001. Other repetitive motion injuries occurred at a rate of 22.2 cases/10,000 which exceeds the all manufacturing rate of 14.7 in 2002. Hand injuries generally account for approximately 1/3 of all injuries at work, 1/4 of lost working time, and 1/5 of permanent disability. It is estimated that the project would help reduce traumatic injuries among these workers by up to 5% in five years. Such a reduction would reduce over 2,000 injuries annually. The benefit of anthropometric knowledge contributing to better sizing of equipment extends indirectly across several industrial sectors to 15 million female workers, and directly to 20 million Hispanic workers.



This project addresses the Manufacturing Sector Strategic Goal 7: Reduce the incidence of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities among understudied and vulnerable populations in the manufacturing sector such as contract workers, younger and older workers, immigrants, and pregnant and nursing mothers. It also addresses the Traumatic Injury Cross Sector Strategic Goal 5.3: Reduce occupational injuries and deaths among high risk ethnic and minority workers. Further this project addresses other cross sector programs such as, the Personal Protective Technology Cross Sector Strategic Goal 3: Reduce Exposure to Injury Hazards, and the Engineering Controls Strategic Goal 1: Reducing hazardous Occupational Exposures through the advancement of Control Technology.



Page last updated: June 3, 2011
Page last reviewed: May 23, 2011
Content Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Office of the Director

 

NIOSH Program:

Manufacturing