Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-95-0335-2566, Schrock Cabinet Company, Arthur, Illinois.
Grant KA; Habes DJ; Bertsche PK
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 95-0335-2566, 1996 Mar; :1-22
In response to a request from management at Schrock Cabinet Company (SIC-2434), Arthur, Illinois, an investigation was begun into potential lifting hazards in the shipping department. The company manufactured handcrafted wooden cabinets, employing 600 people, 460 of whom were directly involved in the cabinet making shop. The study was centered around those 19 workers in the shipping department who loaded cabinets into trailers. Cabinets ranged in weight from slightly under 10 pounds (lbs) to over 200lbs. A full size trailer could hold 300 to 540 cabinets. While loading, lift rates ranged from 2 to 3 lifts per minute. While no loading was going on, the loaders had a short break. Almost all the lifting was done unassisted. Loaders were trained with proper lifting techniques and also provided with back belts which were widely used. In July 1995, a new cabinet was introduced which was up to 100% heavier. Of the 19 employees on the shipping dock, five (26%) were found to have had an OSHA recordable musculoskeletal disorder in the first 8 months of 1995. Fifteen of these 19 (79%) reported work related musculoskeletal pain or discomfort during the past year. More than half the lifts studied exceeded the NIOSH Recommended Weight Limit, sometimes by more than three times. The authors conclude that work in the shipping department imposed a high level of physical demand which may increase the risk of injury. The authors recommend that the job be redesigned to reduced demand, and that work organization be changed, allowing more frequent rotation.
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