Men's Apparel Industrywide Study at Hampco Corporation, Division of Hamptom Industries, Martinsville, Virginia.
Hazards associated with the men's apparel industry were surveyed on October 24, 1974, at Hampco Apparel Corporation (SIC-2327) in Martinsville, Virginia. The company employed 227 workers: 13 in the cutting department; 143 in the sewing department; 17 in the pressing and folding area; and 25 in the shipping department. No formal medical or safety programs existed, however, an on-site health facility was run by a registered nurse, and some employees are trained in first aid. The materials used at the facility were mostly cotton and cotton synthetic blends. Sewing machines were fitted with needle guards, and operators were provided with adjustable chairs. No dust masks were used. A general sprinkler system was provided for fire protection, and an air conditioning system was used for general ventilation. All noise measurements were below 89 decibels, and illumination ranged from 40 to 100 foot candles. Airborne fiber concentrations ranged from 0.2 to 3.1 milligrams per cubic meter, and most fibers were 2 to 20 microns in diameter. The author concludes that some workers are exposed to noise levels in excess of the OSHA standard (unspecified). No excessive exposures to dust exist. Recommendations include development of a hearing conservation program, determination of time weighted average noise exposures, pulmonary function studies on workers at risk, and dust particle characterization.
Environmental Investigations Branch, Division of Field Studies and Clinical Investigations, NIOSH, 5 pages