A safety information profile is presented for the manual handling of containers, excluding cylinder and primary glass container handling. Measures are reviewed for the control of hazards, such as biochemical stress, inguinal hernias, and intervertebral disc injuries, and hazards related directly to the containers themselves, such as flammability, toxicity, and sharp surfaces. Accident statistics are presented and several research studies currently underway are described. The industry's movement away from the manual handling of containers to mechanized handling is discussed. Current federal safety standards are mentioned. Names and addresses of industry associations, unions, and other interested parties are provided. It is concluded that manual container handling is a common cause of occupational injury, due primarily to biomechanical stress. Development and implementation of safety standards are recommended.
Division of Safety Research, NIOSH, Morgantown, West Virginia