Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-90-273-2130, FL Thorpe and Co., Inc., Deadwood, South Dakota.
Hales T; Grant KA; Daniels W; 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 90-273-2130, 1991 Aug; :1-32
In response to a request from FL Thorpe and Co. (SIC-3911), Deadwood, South Dakota, an evaluation was made of the upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders among their employees. The company manufactured gold jewelry for wholesale and retail distribution and has been in operation since 1878. The facility employed 115 people, 105 of whom were production employees. Work activities were video taped for analysis. Posture, force and static muscle contraction hazards were present in most jobs; two jobs involved exposure to hand/wrist vibration. All production employees completed a questionnaire designed to gather information on upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders. Of the 94 employees tested, 76 reported symptoms. Neck symptoms were reported most frequently (60%), but the hand/wrist area contained the most reported work related musculoskeletal symptoms. The bright cut, wriggle, and wax departments had the highest prevalence of employees with these disorders. In 1989 and 1990, seven employees were diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome by local physicians. All were given at least 5 weeks off to recover from their carpal tunnel release surgery. The authors conclude that an upper extremity musculoskeletal hazard existed at this facility. The authors recommend the development of an ergonomics program, including specific engineering interventions.
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