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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-93-0805-2387, UNICCO, Hartford, Connecticut.

Van Gilder TJ; Waters T; Fatone P; Baron S
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 93-0805-2387, 1994 Feb; :1-19
In response to a request from the Service Employees International Union regarding the use of backpack vacuum cleaners among employees at the UNICCO Service Company (SIC-7349) working at the Traveler's Insurance complex in Hartford, Connecticut, an investigation was begun into working conditions. Use of the backpack cleaners required the workers to bend and stretch with the added weight of the machine strapped to their backs. The long extension cord had to be plugged and unplugged several times per shift and coiled. Workers usually removed the back pack once an hour to rest and get a break from the heat. The three workers who were interviewed indicated that they experienced musculoskeletal discomfort and the sensation of excessive heat. Laboratory testing revealed biomechanical stress and heat exposure along with vibration and noise exposures. The authors conclude that each of the exposures was within the normal recommended exposure limits. The risks which may be posed by the combined effects of these several stressors could not be calculated. The authors recommend that workers be trained in the use of backpack vacuum cleaners, and that workers be allowed some flexibility in the choice of appropriate equipment for a task.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-93-0805-2387; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-1; Heat-exposure; Maintenance-workers; Vibration-exposure; Ergonomics; Noise-exposure; Biomechanics; Musculoskeletal system disorders; MSD; Author Keywords: janitorial services; back-pack vacuum cleaners; ergonomics; biomechanical stress; vibration; heat; noise
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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 25, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division