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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-82-247-1280, Blue Cross of Northern California, Oakland, California.

Coye MJ; Okawa MT
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 82-247-1280, 1983 Mar; :1-8
In response to a request from the Office and Professional Employees Union, Local 29, an evaluation was conducted of the possible relationship between complaints of headaches, respiratory illnesses and general discomfort, and general air quality at Blue Cross of Northern California, Oakland, California. Most workers at Blue Cross were engaged in processing insurance claims, and were seated at open work stations. A walk through survey was conducted, along with worker interviews, review of the building ventilation systems specifications, and evaluation of existing environmental data much of which had been obtained in a previous analysis by a private consulting firm. Deficiencies in ventilation were noted primarily due to the use of an energy saving program that shut off the main system for up to 9 minutes each hour. Workers reported symptoms of upper respiratory irritation and headache, crowded work stations, stress, and eye strain, and musculoskeletal problems associated with the use of video display terminals. The authors conclude that the problems experienced by workers in this building were consistent with inadequate ventilation, overcrowding, and poorly designed video terminal work stations. The authors recommend that specific measures be taken to improve the work environment at this facility.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-82-247-1280; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-9; Respiratory-system-disorders; Indoor-air-pollution; Office-workers; Video-display-terminals; Ventilation-systems; Job-stress; Work-environment; Indoor-environmental-quality; Musculoskeletal system disorders; MSD; Author Keywords: Hospital and Medical Service Plans; respiratory irritation; headache; ventilation; video display terminals; indoor air pollution; office buildings; ASHRAE; illumination
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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: October 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division