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Real-time, integrated, and ergonomic analysis of dust exposure during manual materials handling.
Gressel MG; Heitbrink WA; McGlothlin JD; Fischbach TJ
Appl Ind Hyg 1987 May; 2(3):108-113
A plan using traditional air sampling, ergonomic analysis, and real time instrumentation to define factors causing incomplete dust control during manual weighing out of powders was tested in a plastics production facility (SIC-3079) where a variety of polyvinyl- chloride products were manufactured. Raw material arrived at the facility in powdered form contained in paper or polylined paper bags. A worker emptied 50 pound bags of an acrylic copolymer powder into a fiber drum measuring 33 inches high and 21 inches in diameter. Subsequent to this task, the worker transferred powder from the drum to a small paper bag, usually taking two full scoops to achieve proper weight in the bag. Filled bags were closed and placed in a bin behind the worker. Most breathing zone samples exceeded the Threshold Limit Value for total dust of 10mg/m3 and the Permissible Exposure Limit for nuisance dust of 15mg/m3. All three workers involved in these tasks wore protective respirators during these activities. Real time instrumentation was successfully employed in this study to clearly identify sources of worker dust exposure during the work cycle. The study indicated that worker dust exposure increased with bag count, which was directly related to the depth of scooping needed to obtain enough powder to fill each successive bag. In addition, the weighing out booth had air current eddies which contributed to dust in breathing zones. Recommendations included anthropometric factors and redesign of the booth.
NIOSH-Author; Dust-inhalation; Work-practices; Safety-engineering; Workplace-studies; Materials-handling; Air-sampling; Air-contamination; Airborne-dusts; Plastics-industry; Dust-sampling; Respiratory-protection
Issue of Publication
Applied Industrial Hygiene
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division