Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-94-0370-2511, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Communication Center, Tampa, Florida.
In response to a confidential request, an investigation was begun into possible hazardous working conditions at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (SIC-9221), Tampa, Florida. There were 118 workers, including 93 dispatchers, in the Communication Center, working three shifts. The most common problems reported included irritated eyes (35%), headache (25%), fatigue (25%), and stuffy nose/sinus congestion (25%). Measured temperature and humidity levels were within the comfort ranges currently recommended. The measured carbon-dioxide (124389) levels ranged from 40 to 975 parts per million, but could be further controlled by manipulating the exhaust system. Bulk samples collected from the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning unit revealed microbial contamination with Pseudomonas, Flavobacterium, and Moraxella species, specifically in and around the standing water found in the humidifier. Poor housekeeping and overcrowding were noted in the center. The authors conclude that there was a potential for dissemination of bioaerosols from the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system into occupied spaces. The authors recommend that the following measures be taken until a scheduled move to a new facility: increasing the frequency of exhaust cycles for the room, removing a humidifier from the HVAC system, cleaning or replacing the HVAC system, and improving HVAC maintenance and housekeeping.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-94-0370-2511; Region-4; Hazard-Confirmed; Humidity; Work-environment; Indoor-air-pollution; Air-quality-control; Ventilation-systems; Ventilation-equipment; Law-enforcement; Office-workers; Microorganisms; Indoor-environmental-quality