HHE Report No. HETA-93-0926-2472, Dauphin County Prison, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
In response to a request from prison management and the Chauffeurs, Teamsters, and Helpers Local Union 776, an investigation was begun into possible hazardous working conditions at the Dauphin County Prison (SIC-9223) located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The request indicated that correctional officers experienced rash, elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate, headaches, and throat irritation. The Prison consisted of the main prison and attached Spring Creek facility. The main prison held 500 male prisoners and the Spring Creek facility held 142 minimum security male and 72 female prisoners. The medical records for 17 employees were reviewed and 30 employees were interviewed. Results indicated that the symptoms fell into the general class of allergy related to the skin, the mucosal surfaces and/or upper airways. Employees also complained of problems with thermal comfort and high stress. Several environmental deficiencies were noted including carbon- dioxide concentrations, temperature and relative humidity imbalances, and an undersupplying of outdoor air to ventilation systems. Recommendations were offered to continue medical evaluation of medical complaints, improve the communication channels in the facility, establish a nonsmoking environment, remove all contaminated acoustical tiling, evaluate the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system to assure that it is adequately sized and designed for current application, and establish a preventive maintenance schedule for the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system.
Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, Report No. HETA-93-0926-2472, 22 pages, 15 references