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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-85-534-1855, ICI Americas, Inc., Indiana Army Ammunition Plant, Charlestown, Indiana.

Boiano JM; London MA; Habes DJ
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 85-534-1855, 1987 Dec; :1-26
In response to a request from the International Chemical Workers Union, a study was made of carpal tunnel syndrome, ganglionic cysts, and tendonitis of the wrists in production workers at ICI Americas Inc. ammunition facility (SIC-3483) in Charlestown, Indiana. About 1800 workers were employed in the assembly of solid propellant charges used to propel projectiles. Questionnaires were completed by 463 production workers. Workers in the assembly, lace and tie job classification had the highest prevalence of upper extremity symptoms. Ergonomic evaluations were performed on the six jobs having the highest incidence of upper extremity symptoms. Analysis of the video tapes indicated the tying of pull straps on the propellant charges to be one of the most difficult tasks performed by these workers. Movements were highly repetitive, caused awkward and forceful manipulations of the hand and wrist, and involved many factors causally related to cumulative trauma disorders. Additional problems included excessive reach distances, improper work height, and improper seated work postures. The authors conclude that this production work is associated with a high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders. The authors recommend specific improvements in each job. Training sessions should be conducted to instruct the workers how to accomplish their given tasks with less bodily strain. All hand and wrist injuries should be reported to their employer and accurate records should be kept.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-85-534-1855; Region-5; Hazard-Confirmed; Ergonomics; Human-factors-engineering; Biomechanics; Repetitive-work; Assembly-line-workers; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Author Keywords: Ammunition Loading and Assembly Plants; Musculoskeletal Disorders; Carpal Tunnel Syndrome; Ganglionic Cysts; Tendonitis; Cumulative Trauma Disorders; Ergonomics; Repetitive Tasks
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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