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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-93-1145-2529, United States Postal Service, O'Hare Airport.

Robinson JN; Habes DJ
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 93-1145-2529, 1995 Oct; :1-26
In response to a request from the American Postal Workers Union O'Hare Midway "T" Local, an evaluation was begun into possible hazardous working conditions at the O'Hare Airport Mail Facility (SIC-4311), Chicago, Illinois. Two operations were cited specifically, sack sorting and small parcel bundle sorting (SPBS). The investigative techniques employed included videotaping employees at work, measuring workstations and related components, conducting confidential employee interviews, and reviewing illness and injury records. Several potential ergonomic hazards were identified through a review of the videotapes. A major concern was the long periods of time the sorter in the small parcel bundle sorting area had to remain in a standing position. The loader in this area had to lean over the lip of a bulk mail container to retrieve bundles of mail. Sometimes these bundles were too heavy. Excessive heavy lifting was also observed for the sweepers in this same area as they filled bulk mail containers with mail that had been sorted. In the sack sorting area the major concerns were over the long reaches needed to gather bundles and boxes of mail. Ergonomic concerns also appeared during the operation of the label dispenser and setting the scale reset button. It was possible as well for workers to be struck by bulk mail sliding down the delivery chute in this area. Leg and back discomfort were commonplace among these workers due to prolonged standing. The authors conclude that there were several potential ergonomic hazards observed in the SPBS and sack sorting areas.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-93-1145-2529; Hazard-Confirmed; Region-5; Back-injuries; Human-factors-engineering; Workplace-studies; Postal-employees; Cumulative-trauma-disorders; Manual-materials-handling; Manual-lifting; Author Keywords: United States Postal Service; ergonomics; biomechanical hazards; postal employees; musculoskeletal disorders; lifting hazards; cumulative trauma disorders (CIDs); lower extremity discomfort; static lower extremity posture; standing postures
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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 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division