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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-92-0073-2337, United States Postal Service, General Mail Facility, Denver, Colorado.

Habes DJ; Grant KA; Hales TR
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 92-0073-2337, 1993 Jul; :1-19
In response to a confidential request from employees working at the Denver General Mail Facility (SIC-4311) in Colorado, an evaluation was undertaken of ergonomic hazards associated with the use of two types of automated mail processing machines, the Bar Code Sorter (BCS) and the Optical Character Reader (OCR). Subsequent requests asked that the study be expanded to include the Delivery Bar Code Sorter (DBCS), the Pitney-Bowes (PB) OCR, and the stool or rest bar used in the manual letter casing area. The OCR and sorters required a worker to feed mail and a worker to sweep mail out. Several hazards were identified which put the users of the equipment at risk for low back and upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders. The tasks were moderately repetitive, and workers had to work in awkward positions when operating these automated mail processing machines. Design flaws at the DBCS sweeper position were deemed to be particularly hazardous. The authors recommend that several of the positions be automated, particularly the sweeping positions linked to mail processing machines. Changes should be made to eliminate extreme trunk flexion while retrieving trays of mail and to minimize the number of reaches to the tray racks while sweeping.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-92-0073-2337; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-8; Repetitive-work; Postal-employees; Human-factors-engineering; Ergonomics; Cumulative-trauma-disorders; Author Keywords: United States Postal Service; ergonomics; biomechanical hazards; postal employees; musculoskeletal disorders; cumulative trauma disorders; CTDs; low back pain; tendinitis
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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