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The effect of operator hand position and workstation furniture on foot current for radio frequency heater operators.

Conover DL; Edwards RM; Shaw PB; Snyder DL; Lotz WG
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1994 Apr; 9(4):256-261
Foot current was measured in radio frequency (RF) heater operators in relation to operator hand position and workstation furniture. The study examined two dielectric heaters, each having a parallel plate applicator and being used to produce plastic waterbed mattresses. Four workers operated one heater and two operated the other. The operator's hand and upper torso positions strongly influenced the foot current under the conditions of reactive field coupling. Foot current was effectively reduced when the hands of the operator were in his or her lap. No measurable effect on foot current was noted by the use of different types of low loss dielectric stools (wood or plastic). A large spatial variation over the body of the operator was noted for field strength exposures. The authors recommend that industrial hygienists determine the dependence of foot current on common hand and upper torso positions in an effort to obtain meaningful exposure evaluations for heater operators. The authors conclude that operator foot current can be reduced by keeping the hands and torso as far away from the RF heater as practical. Physical barriers may be helpful in this regard.
NIOSH-Author; Electromagnetic-radiation; Radiation-measurement; Radiation-exposure; Industrial-factory-workers; Posture; Nonionizing-radiation; Occupational-exposure
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Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Page last reviewed: September 25, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division