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Health hazard evlauation report: HETA-81-263-1178, Copperweld Steel Company, Warren, Ohio.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 81-263-1178, 1984 Jan; :1-10
Worker exposures to reducing gas were investigated in May 1981 at Copperweld Steel Company (SIC-3312) Warren, Ohio. The evaluation was requested by the employees on behalf of 100 heat finishing area workers concerned about reported dizziness, tremors, memory loss, and weakness in three workers hospitalized following accidental exposure to reducing gas. The reducing gas generating area was inspected, and medical records of the hospitalized workers were reviewed. Industrial hygiene data from an earlier OSHA survey was also examined. The main components of reducing gas were hydrogen (1333740), nitrogen (7727379), and carbon-monoxide (630080) (CO). The three workers had persistent neurological disturbances: poor coordination and balance, impaired memory, confusion, mood changes, and impaired intellectual abilities. Although CO concentrations reportedly did not exceed 5 parts per million during operation of the reducing gas generating equipment, there were no warning or hazard signs posted to indicate potential exposures. Many workers were unaware that CO was present. A positive lock out system was installed after the accidental exposure incident, which adequately controlled exposures. The authors conclude that no hazard presently exists at this facility. They recommend worker education about CO exposure symptoms, posting hazard notices, proper equipment maintenance, routine CO monitoring, and personnel first aid training.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Steelmaking-industry; Region-5; Air-contamination; Industrial-gases; Neurological-reactions; Industrial-exposures; HETA-81-263-1178; Author Keywords: Blast Furnaces [Including Coke Ovens]); Steel Works, And Rolling Mills; Carbon Monoxide; Reducing Gas; Carboxyhemoglobin; Neurological Effects; Lock-Out Mechanism
1333-74-0; 7727-37-9; 630-08-0
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division