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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-87-348-2011, Electric Boat, Groton, Connecticut.

Tubbs RL; Doyle TE; Wilcox TG
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 87-348-2011, 1990 Feb; :1-62
In response to a request from the Metal Trades Council of New London County, AFL-CIO, an investigation was made of possible hazardous conditions at Electric Boat shipyard (SIC-3731), Groton, Connecticut. Vibration measurements were conducted to determine worker exposure to vibration while using a needle gun, a sand tamper, a lead caulker, and grinders and burring tools in their work at the shipyard. Most of the 11 tools measured should, according to the results of the tests, be limited to 4 hours use at a time. The lead caulker, sand tamper, and three of the four types of burring tools had vibration levels in excess of the ACGIH threshold limit value of 12 meters per second squared. Over 300 shipyard employees had been seen by a local occupational medical clinic due to tingling and numbness in their hands and/or finger blanching. Since only a small number of tools were tested, the vibration measurements did not necessarily apply to all the tools at the shipyard. However, the large number of workers seen at the clinic for symptoms compatible with the hand/arm vibration syndrome, the need for time restrictions for most tools, and the lack of administrative procedures for tool use restrictions indicated that there was a problem at this facility. The authors conclude that a health hazard existed at the shipyard. Recommendations are offered for reducing vibration exposure.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-87-348-2011; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-1; Vibration-exposure; Hand-tools; Shipbuilding-industry; Shipyard-workers; Author Keywords: Shipyard; Vibrating Tools; Hand Transmitted Vibration; Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome; HAVS; Vibration White Finger; VWF
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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