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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-95-0294-2594, Scientific Application International Corporation, Frederick, Maryland.

McGlothlin JD; Hales TR
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 95-0294-2594, 1996 Aug; :1-38
In response to a request from management, an investigation was begun into cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs) among research technicians working in the In Vitro Cell Line Screening Project Laboratories of the Scientific Application International Corporation (SAIC), National Cancer Institute, and Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center (SIC-8731) located in Frederick, Maryland. Work in the drug preparation laboratory basically involves weighing and placing the compounds into test tubes and diluting the compounds into various concentrations. Approximately 36 to 40 drugs are prepared per day. All 43 lab employees completed the NIOSH questionnaire and 20 (47%) met the NIOSH case definition for potential work related upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders. The hand was the area most commonly affected (40%) followed by the elbow (19%), shoulder (16%) and neck (14%). The laboratory hood was evaluated for ergonomic hazards and several were identified. Since the evaluation, SAIC has developed a comprehensive ergonomics program which has reduced the biomechanical hazards in these labs and also reduced the number of CTD cases. However, there is still a risk for developing upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders among production laboratory employees. Engineering and administrative recommendations were made for improving pipetting operations, biosafety cabinet operation, cell plate preparation, and drug preparation; for the use of antifatigue mats and adjustable height laboratory chairs; and for ergonomically upgrading the computer and office equipment.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-95-0294-2594; Region-3; Hazard-Confirmed; Ergonomics; Posture; Laboratory-workers; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Muscle-function; Author Keywords: Commercial research laboratories; Pipettes; Laboratory workers; Cumulative trauma disorders; CTDs; Carpal tunnel syndrome; Musculoskeletal disorders; Ergonomics
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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