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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-83-463-1642, EPA, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Cahill LM; Cohen BG; Smith MJ
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 83-463-1642, 1985 Dec; :1-33
A health hazard evaluation at an Environmental Research Center of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (SIC-9190), Cincinnati, Ohio in October, 1983 and June, 1985 was conducted. The evaluation was requested by the EPA because of complaints of blurred vision, headache, and neck and backaches in employees who used video display terminals (VDT). An ergonomic evaluation of the VDT work stations was performed. Seventy six employees who used VDTs were interviewed. Seventy three percent of the VDT keyboards had illumination levels that exceeded recommended values. Forty three percent of the copy holders and 75 percent of the desk surfaces had excessive illumination. Thirty six percent of the work stations had keyboard heights above the recommended range. Most of the chairs could not be adjusted. At least 75 percent of the workers reported tearing and burning eyes, eye strain, headaches, back, shoulder and neck pain, and fatigue. Verbal recommendations were given after the 1983 evaluation. The 1985 followup found improvements such as adjustable chairs, wrist and foot rests, and adjustable tilt screens. The authors conclude that worker health complaints can be attributed to VDT use. Recommendations include eliminating or substantially reducing glare on VDT screens and bringing lighting levels within recommended values.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Hazards-Confirmed; Environmental-engineering; Region-5; Occupational-exposure; Health-hazards; Sensory-perceptual-disorders; Visual-motor-performance; HETA-83-463-1642; Author Keywords: Federal Government; video display terminal; VDT; health complaints; job stress
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division