Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-98-0062-2710, Inland Eastex, Evadale, Texas.
On January 13, 1998, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) received a confidential request from employees at the Inland Eastex paper mill, Evadale, Texas, to evaluate repetitive motion injuries of the upper extremity and back associated with the core saw job in the finishing and shipping department. On April 29 and 30, 1998, NIOSH representatives conducted a site visit at the plant. The visit included videotaping of the core saw and core plugging jobs, review of injury and illness logs, and distribution of a medical and musculoskeletal disorders symptom questionnaire to the workers. Physical stresses associated with the work tasks included lifting and carrying plugs and cores, pushing carts loaded with cores, and repetitive motions and impulse vibration to the upper extremity from hammering plugs into place. The amount of time workers spent performing their duties precluded the consistent use of a portable plugging machine, which relieved workers from hammering, but required more time to use.