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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-82-065-1664, Carpet and Floorlayers, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Thun MJ; Tanaka S
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 82-065-1664, 1986 Feb; :1-30
The occurrence of knee disease among carpetlayers was examined in three ways: Worker's Compensation claims were reviewed; the ergonomic forces transmitted to the knee during use of a knee kicker (carpet stretching tool) were determined; and a medical study of knee disease in construction workers was conducted. The evaluation was requested by Local 873, Cincinnati, Ohio, of the Resilient Floor Layers and Decorator's Union, because of the frequency of knee injuries resulting in accumulation of fluid and damage to cartilage. The Local represents approximately 170 members. Carpetlayers and floorlayers submitted a disproportionately large fraction of claims for knee joint inflammation attributed to kneeling, leaning, repetition of pressure or striking against a stationary object. The ergonomic study determined that using a knee kicker may generate a force of up to 3200 newtons, transmitted directly to the suprapatellar area. A questionnaire study indicated that carpetlayers and floorlayers reported an increased frequency of bursitis, needle aspiration of knee fluid, skin infections of the knee, and other knee symptoms compared to millwrights and bricklayers. Tile, terazzo and marble setters reported similar problems. Chronic kneeling and the use of the knee kicker are considered to be associated with occupational knee trauma. The authors recommend that workers wear knee pads and use a power stretcher rather than a knee kicker when possible. It is also recommended that further research be conducted to develop a carpet stretching device that will be mobile and efficient and yet will reduce ergonomic trauma to the knee.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-5; HETA-82-065-1664; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Ergonomics; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Author Keywords: Carpet and Soft Tile lnstallers; bursitis; arthritis; osteoarthritis; knee injury; disability; repetitive trauma; ergonomics; occupation; carpetlayers; floor layers; tilesetters; millwrights; bricklayers
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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