HHE Report No. HETA-90-075-2298, Boston Edison Company, Boston, Massachusetts.
Venable-HL; Moss-CE; Connon-CL; Kinnes-GM; Freund-E
NIOSH 1993 Apr:61 pages
In response to a request from the Utility Workers Union of America, Local 377, an evaluation was conducted of smoke, gases and other unknown potentially toxic substances present in underground utility vaults at the Boston Edison Company (SIC-4911), Boston, Massachusetts. Blood lead (7439921) levels were determined in workers and ranged from less than 5 to 43 micrograms/deciliter. Surface wipe and air samples from the vaults were analyzed for lead. Airborne lead concentrations ranged from 0.22 to 17 micrograms per cubic meter. Wipe samples taken from work surfaces, clothing, and hands had lead concentrations ranging from nondetectable to 9.3 milligrams per sample. Potentially hazardous work practices were observed in and around the underground utility vaults including the handling of molten lead in uncovered containers; use of infrequently calibrated gas detection meters; the generation of smoke, gases, and vapors during cable slicing operations; poor housekeeping practices; cramped working conditions; and working on uneven working surfaces. The authors conclude that potential safety hazards existed during work within the utility vaults. Blood lead levels in several workers exceeded the public health service goal of 25 micrograms/deciliter. The authors recommend changes to the basic health and safety practices for work in underground utility vaults.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-90-075-2298; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-1; Lead-poisoning; Electrical-workers; Confined-spaces; Occupational-exposure; Work-practices; Air-contamination;
Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance;
NTIS Accession No.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HETA-90-075-2298, 61 pages, 19 references